Al Horford is only guy who has vexed Embiid as much as Gasol has over the last few years, and this has the makings of a final tune-up before a potential meeting with Toronto down the road.
The biggest indictment of Embiid in matchups with Gasol is not that he struggles to score, it’s that he struggles to get shots up in the first place. Embiid’s 0/11 performance in Toronto in late November was perhaps the worst game he has ever played as a professional, and though he managed to avoid another goose egg in the following meeting at home, he managed just seven shot attempts in a five-point win. The Spaniard is too disciplined to bite on Embiid’s jabs and fakes, and too big/strong for Embiid to go through when he tries to back him down. Embiid ends up shooting mostly low-value shots as a result:
Though Embiid doesn’t navigate double-teams particularly well, Toronto’s ability to defend him without sending constant help strains Philadelphia’s offense.