There are a lot of things at play today when the Cleveland Cavaliers head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. There's a great team against a not so good team with some interesting young players. J.R. Smith will take part in a Sunday afternoon game coming off a tough shooting night against Dallas. The whole Cavaliers team took in Ohio State's definitive and not at all nerve-wracking shellacking of the Michigan Wolverines before heading to Philly. Are they focused?
Does it matter?
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (12-2) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (4-12)
When: 1 p.m.
Where: Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, Ohio
TV Information: Fox Sports Ohio
The 76ers came into the season with a bit of a logjam in terms of unproven but intriguing bigs. Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and top draft pick Ben Simmons were all going to be fighting for developmental minutes. Noel is still developing, but is vying for free agency dollars. Injuries have unfortunately taken away from the fun and intrigue. Noel and Simmons are out with unclear timetables.
In their absence, Joel Embiid has been one of the most fun players in the league. He has very little basketball awareness at this point, but has ridiculous athleticism and touch both shooting the ball and with passing to go with his 7'0 250 pound frame. The sky is the limit with Embiid, providing he stays healthy and takes the time to find the game's soft spots.
His numbers so far eye-popping. He's got a Player Efficiency Rating of 23.0, has made 12 of 26 threes, and is using 37.5% of the Sixers' possessions when he's been on the court. His turnover rate is sky high, he's living at the free throw line and is blocking all kinds of shots. He has very little court awareness or body control, as Kevin Love found out a couple weeks ago when he was on the receiving end of what looked similar to a hockey check.
In other words, Embiid should be awesome, and watching him try and figure it all out will be a treat for Philly fans that need them.
So far, it hasn't been quite as positive for Okafor, the 2nd overall choice in the 2015 NBA draft. He's a skilled big, but the numbers are ugly thus far and he's played just 20 minutes a game. It's a small sample, but his shooting efficiency his horrific and he isn't passing the ball. His rebounding numbers are downright alarming. Here's hoping he can turn it around soon.
|2016/2017 NBA regular season|
| ||vs|| |
November 27, 2016
Wells Fargo Center
1:00 PM ET
|Fox Sports Ohio, League Pass|
|Sergio Rodriguez||PG||Kyrie Irving|
|Gerald Henderson||SG||J.R. Smith|
|Robert Covington||SF||LeBron James|
|Ersan Ilyasova||PF||Kevin Love|
|Joel Embiid||C||Tristan Thompson|
|Jahlil Okafor||Richard Jefferson|
|Ersan Ilyasova||Channing Frye|
|Dario Saric||Iman Shumpert|