“His defense is still the thing that is our backbone. They had one point in overtime. Their percentages going down the stretch of the fourth period [were] low, and that’s where I see his energy and passion being contagious with the confidence he gives the other four players.”
You can point to tangible things like offensive rebounds and blocks, you can look at nebulous concepts like swagger, but you can almost always tell the difference between apex Embiid and every other level of Embiid.
“I feel like the first part of the season I was trying to make sure everybody was comfortable, kind of took a step back, but if we got to go somewhere, I got to be one of the [main] guys. And it starts on defense, just playing hard and running the floor, do the little things,” Embiid said. Embiid is not suddenly going to turn into a rim-running maniac a la Clint Capela, but Brown wants to avoid what he referred to as a “Death float,” plays where Embiid drifts harmlessly out to the three-point line and forces up bad shots.
“As players, we got to do our job,” Embiid said.