Proof in Numbers - Embiid's All-Star, MVP Bids Well Underway

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

As far back as the summer, before Joel Embiid even stepped on the court for training camp, the 76ers envisioned the big man having a “dominating” season.

So far, that’s exactly what his third professional campaign has been. In some respects, it’s even been statistically historic.

Let’s start simply by examining a few of the 7-footer’s most basic per game averages:

27.7 points  12.4 rebounds |  3.4 assists | 2.3 blocks

Only two other players in NBA history have sustained those minimums for an entire season:

(endless thanks to the absolutely incredible and indispensable Basketball - Reference Play Index tool, which allows you to actually look stuff like this up)

As you’ll notice, Shaquille O’Neal didn’t hit a single 3-pointer in either the 1999-2000 or 2000-01 seasons (the three-ball, of course, didn’t exist yet during Kareem’s 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons).

Furthermore, neither of these centers shot exceptionally well from the foul line.

Embiid, meanwhile, has already hit 15 3-pointers this fall, and is shooting better than 80.0 percent from the stripe.

While there’s certainly a long ways to go in the current season, a cursory glance at Embiid’s box line alone reveals a collection of staggering numbers the likes of which we tend to see only once in a generation, if at all.

Now that the table for this conversation has been set, let’s take a look at some of the other impressive statistical milestones Embiid has achieved early on this year.

For sure, his All-Star Game and MVP award candidacies are well underway.

Keeping Company with the Dipper

To begin a season, there’s only been one other player in 76ers history to do better than Joel Embiid’s averages of 29.6 points and 12.4 rebounds through his first 10 games of a year.

Wilt Chamberlain posted 31.6 points and a herculean 25.1 rebounds in the first 10 games of the 1965-66 campaign.

TOTALly Bonkers

Not only are Joel’s per game averages ridiculous, the total volume of his output has reached a generational level. In the Sixers’ first 12 games of the season, the Cameroonian has cranked out 332 total points, 149 total rebounds, and 27 blocked shots.

Only one other NBA player, the Big Aristotle, has ever eclipsed those marks through his first 12 contests.

30 x 10 Club

After tearing his way to 30 points and 10 rebounds seven times in the first 12 games of the season, Embiid again finds himself in heady company.

He, along with Wilt Chamberlain and Charles Barkley, are the only players in team history to register at least seven 30-point x 10-rebound outings in their first 12 games.

Broaden the scope of the search to encompass the entire league, and you’ll find that this is just the 15th instance in history in which a player has posted 30 points and 10 rebounds seven times in his first 12 games of the year.

Doing the Double-Double

When it comes to double-doubles of any and all varieties, Jo already has 11, which leads the NBA.

The last Sixer with 11 double-doubles through his first 12 games was Moses Malone, in 1984-85.

Phenomenal First Halves

What many NBA players would consider an above-average output for a full 48-minute game, Joel Embiid is capable of accomplishing in a single half.

He pumped out 24 points by intermission in the Sixers’ November 1st victory over the LA Clippers, en route to finishing with a season-best 41 points and 13 rebounds.

Two days later, the 24-year old dropped 32 points in the first half of an eventual win against the Detroit Pistons.

The previous time a member of the Sixers had 30-plus points in a first half? Allen Iverson (33 pts) on December 18th, 2004 versus Milwaukee.

Embiid’s 32 first-half points also established a new floor record at The Center.