On the Beat | Embiid Poised to Pursue Title
Joel Embiid wants to make a statement - for himself, for his teammates, and for his city.
Despite the unknowns awaiting in Orlando, the All-Star is ready to pursue the goal he set last summer: winning a championship.
“I want to represent my city," Embiid said during a Zoom media availability Tuesday. "This is my opportunity. I believe we have a great chance of winning the championship."
Just eight regular season “seeding games” stand between Embiid and his third consecutive playoff run. He believes the postseason is where his team will thrive.
“I feel like we are more built for the playoffs,” Embiid said. “I’m excited about it. I’m excited to keep improving and keep being that guy.”
As one of the league’s strongest defenders, Embiid believes the Sixers’ defensive potential is unmatched:
“I feel like we are the best defensive team in the league. We’ve got the pieces that we need.”
Embiid returned from injury in a big way for the Sixers’ final game before the hiatus. In one of his best performances of the season, he finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds in the team's Mar. 11 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
“I was on the path, right before the season got shut down, I was on the path to just get back to what I was doing last year - which was just dominating everybody,” Embiid said.
Now, even after almost four months since his last competitive action, Embiid believes those pieces are coming together, right on time.
“I’m excited to play,” Embiid said. “I’m excited to be with my teammates, the coaches, play for the city, play for the fans who I love."
One of the teammates Embiid spoke about specifically is fellow All-Star Ben Simmons. The duo's goals are aligned.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about winning a championship. I feel like he has the right mindset, that’s what he wants to do. I know one thing about him - he wants to win, and he’s going to do what it takes to win.”
The big man also discussed collaborating with Simmons, and embracing the partnership they’ve forged in their young careers.
“We’re going to need him - I know," said Embiid. "It’s a team game. I’m going to do my best to keep helping him, and create some space for him, and we’ve all got to do the same thing, just to help each other.”
With both stars now healthy, Embiid looks forward to embracing his team’s potential.
"It’s going to be an exciting time. We have a great chance, I do believe it.”