Joel Embiid has been one of the breakout stars of the 2016-17 season, despite playing on a minutes restriction and being on one of the NBA’s worst teams.
Embiid has brought the Sixers out of the Eastern Conference cellar with his stellar play, despite appearing in only 31 games and playing 25.4 minutes per night. The young star, who is currently dealing with a left knee injury that’s kept him out of action for the past week-plus of action, has averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game despite the limited action and minutes restriction.
That high level of play has Sixers fans thrilled and has given them a tangible reason to be optimistic about the future for the first time in years. However, not everyone is buying in just yet.
Shaquille O’Neal is among the skeptics of Embiid’s incredible start to his career. Embiid is putting up numbers that haven’t been seen from a young big man since O’Neal, but the Hall of Famer isn’t ready to give Embiid his stamp of approval until his minutes and the regularity with which he plays comes up.