It would be fair to say that Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is in a rich vein of form this season, having scored an astounding 101 points over the period of just 24 hours. The 28-year-old Cameroonian alone racked up 42 points in his side’s 121-109 win over the Atlanta Hawks, and then the next day, again at the Wells Fargo Center, he hit 59 points against the Utah Jazz. It’s the sort of spectacular performance that you just don’t see very often, even within the upper most echelons of professional, major league basketball.
Embiid’s all-round game was in overdrive as he secured double-digit scores as well as three rebounds in both of these games. What’s clear is that these back-to-back wins went some way towards helping to get Philadelphia to an overall 7-7 score in what has thus far been an up-and-down season for the team. Whether his extraordinary performance will keep the Philadelphia 76ers on track to victory very much remains to be seen, but this is exactly the sort of amazing boost that can turn the fortunes of a struggling sports team on its head.
Will this be the year for Philly’s legendary team? That remains to be seen but with this boost, they seem to be well on their way to outperforming their solid record from 2023. Last season, the 76ers impressed in the regular season before ultimately crashing out of the Conference semi-finals to the Miami Heat. That campaign, however, was somewhat overshadowed by issues relating to Ben Simmons, when the volatile Australian player came to heads with his own team and demanded to be traded well before the season ended – only to return just recently to the game, amid boos from fans. This year, however, with some of that controversy behind them and most of the spotlight on Kyrie, Doc Rivers is keen to push his team to a sixth successive post-season finish, even if he only actually presided over two of those postseason wins.
If you believe Embiid can elevate the team and make them genuine NBA title challengers, which is far more likely now than it was just a short week ago, then check out the odds you can get on Philadelphia, as well as which sportsbooks are worthy of your attention; see more here about just what kind of lucrative payout you might secure from such a gamble.
As Philly fans know, Embiid was forced to miss a handful of games with the flu a short while ago, before returning with a bang, and he’s keen to make the most of his run of form – something that he has more than proved just by his performance on the court, but also made it clear in a press conference recently, saying:
“At halftime, I just tried to still be aggressive. When you have the ball in your hands, and you try to be a playmaker or try to score the ball, you’re going to turn the ball over. I had a couple of turnovers, so in the second half, I just wanted to make sure I didn’t speed myself and take whatever the defense gives me. I’m just happy about that. Defensively, since I’ve been back, I feel like I’ve been playing on another level.”
Rivers was, understandably, full of praise for his star player after Embiid’s amazing efforts since his return:
“I’ve seen guys score a lot of points, but I haven’t seen guys score a lot of points, rebound, and then the blocked shots. That was impressive. He was getting everything. I’ve never seen a more dominating performance when you look at both offense and defense.”
Embiid’s career-high performance against the Jazz was a sign of just what he is truly capable of, but to be entirely fair, this didn’t actually come from out of left field, if you excuse the baseball metaphor. He has actually impressed ever since he moved to the 76ers way back in 2014, and he has more than played his part in helping Philadelphia to achieve a strong level of consistency in recent seasons. They may not be at the top of the league but that level of solid consistency is just as impressive in its own right.
This isn’t just a good performance from a reliable player in a reliable team, though. It’s an awful lot more than just that. What Embiid achieved with that staggering 59-point showing was genuinely quite unprecedented, when you get right down to it. By all accounts, his total of 59 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and seven blocks isn’t just a highlight of this particular season for this particular player or this particular team, but it has never actually been achieved before.
Rivers will no doubt place plenty of hope in Embiid for the rest of the season.We hope that Embiid can help push the 76ers to the next step, to convert those play-off finishes into NBA titles. This, of course, will be very much up to his teammates as basketball is very much a team sport and a single player, no matter how thoroughly excellent, can never do it alone. A star player, which is what Joel Embiid very quickly became over the course of a single day, can motivate the rest of the team, though, and between the team’s greater morale and a star-player very much having his day in the sun, it’s entirely possible that this single hot streak for a single player can turn itself into a hot streak for an entire team that will take the 76ers from solid also-rans to unbeatable champions. There’s still a while yet to go in this current basketball season, but it can well be done and the chances of it happening just increased a hundredfold.
It is, after all, almost 30 years since the team last won an NBA Championship, and a return to the top for them is more than long overdue.