Joel Embiid is clowning fools this preseason. He is averaging 33.8 points per-36 minutes and shooting an otherworldly 70.2 percent (33-for-47) from two-point range.
But for the Sixers’ star big man, the number 5.9 looms over his head, and despite his otherwise remarkable play, it’s the single-largest number holding him back from entering the stratosphere of the NBA’s top-tier.
That number, 5.9, represents Embiid’s turnovers per-36 minutes, topping the 5.4 turnovers per 36 he averaged in his rookie campaign. Nine big men averaged at least two turnovers per game last year: Embiid, DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin, Nikola Jokic, Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, Jusuf Nurkic and Anthony Davis.
Among that group, only Anthony Davis committed a higher proportion of “Lost Ball” turnovers than Embiid.