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Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid knows what he needs to do to become unguardable.
With center Joel Embiid having a phenomenal season for the Philadelphia 76ers, he is on the precipice of becoming truly unguardable, in his opinion.
For a big man, Embiid knows that getting better at the free-throw line will go a long way toward becoming an unstoppable offensive force. He missed four foul shots in his most recent game to knock him down to 84.9 percent on the year. Embiid believes the threshold he needs to get past is 90 percent. With his eyes on the prize, perhaps Embiid will eventually get there with the 76ers?
“I’m actually very disappointed.” Embiid told NBC Sports. “That’s two games in a row … a lot of them. I don’t know why but I’ve just got to focus, I guess. They’re called free throws for a reason; it’s free. And I love getting to the free throw line, and I don’t spend any energy doing so, being at the free throw.
“I actually rest more. I should just take my time and knock them down. At some point in my career, I want to become a 90 percent free throw shooter and just knock them down every single time, because I go there so many times.
“That’s what makes you unguardable, when you can get to your spot and either score or get fouled. Sometimes teams want to get guys to the free throw line but then again, with me, it’s almost like … well, you can’t guard him and you also don’t want to send him to the free throw line.”
Joel Embiid is showing he can be the best player on a contending team
Through 33 games this season, Embiid is averaging 29.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 32.5 minutes per game. The perennial All-Star center is shooting 52.1 percent from the field and an impressive 39.4 from beyond the arc. However, it is the 84.9 free-throw percentage that is keeping him up at night. He is right there to become a 50/40/90 guy in the midst of his prime.
Under new head coach Doc Rivers, we have seen Embiid’s play take a quantum leap of sorts. The 76ers have been one of the three best teams in the Eastern Conference throughout the season, and Embiid has been a big reason for that. While he may not end up winning the NBA‘s MVP award, he is certainly playing at a level that will allow the 76ers to win multiple playoff series this summer.
Once Embiid does become an elite free-throw shooter, he will have indeed become unguardable.