Joel Embiid is enjoying a phenomenal debut season to this point and, on Thursday, the presumptive Rookie of the Year faced off against another immense young talent in the form of Anthony Davis. While there was plenty of basketball to be played, round one in the head-to-head battle went firmly in Embiid’s direction.
The encounter took place when Davis attempted to go up (softly) with a left-handed finish on the left block, and while that play likely would have succeeded against the vast majority of NBA opponents, Embiid had a field day. Admittedly, it was not the strongest take from Davis, who did not look to take off with his full level of explosion as a super-athlete, but the length of a legitimate 7-foot-2 center with leaping ability in Embiid did not allow the shot to get anywhere near the rim.
Embiid’s teammate and fellow rookie, Dario Saric, ended up on the floor after being bullied by Davis on the drive, but Joel Embiid’s physical presence continues to be one of the biggest stories of the young NBA season. Earlier in the season, Embiid got the best of LeBron James on three different occasions and, in short, his status as a shot-blocker is becoming less and less in doubt by the day.