Joel Embiid’s last NBA game before Wednesday may have been nearly nine months ago, but it was impossible to tell considering how well he played. Head coach Brett Brown limited him to just 15 minutes in his return to the floor, but Embiid put together a stat line that mirrors a full game performance.
Embiid finished with 22 points (4-9 FG, 14-18 FT), seven rebounds, three assists and one block in the Sixers’ 133-114 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Embiid, fresh off signing a five-year, $146 million max contract extension, was nothing short of utterly dominate. He knocked down his first shot of the night, a mid-range jump shot from the elbow.
Embiid’s first run of the night was just over three minutes, but in a four minute segment at the end of the first quarter, he helped propel the Sixers to a 13-1 run.
The 23-year-old made his mark all over the offensive end, particularly at the free throw line. His size in the paint was too much for the mostly undersized Nets front court. Embiid also showed off his patented swing through shooting move, drawing a foul both times. On the second attempt, he finished through the contact from Trevor Booker to bank in a baseline jumper.
He also displayed shades of Dirk Nowitzki at one point, knocking down a fadeaway one-legged jumper over the outstretched arm of the defender.
Embiid’s impact was also notable on the team’s rebounding, an area where the team has supremely struggled in during the preseason. Three out of his seven rebounds came on the offensive end, giving the team opportunities at multiple second chance points.
Embiid played just over three minutes in the third quarter before checking out for the evening. He finished the game fully healthy, and looking more than ready to play in the team’s regular season opener.