Never mind that he hasn’t gone full bore in over six months, Joel Embiid said he’s a better player. Not just slightly better.
“I think I got so much better this offseason,” the center said. “I’ve worked on my game more all around.”
That’s should be a something to see considering Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 25.4 minutes last season.
However, he hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 27 due to meniscus tear in his left knee. Embiid has been rehabilitating the knee since his March 24 surgery. The third-overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft has yet to be cleared to participate in five-on-five scrimmages.
Yet, he’s been working on individual drills, concentrating on staying up-right, and working on his landing. Embiid injured his knee while landing awkwardly after a dunk on Jan. 20 against the Portland Trail Blazers. He also crashed to the floor or dove in the stands at least every other game.
That’s not good for someone with Embiid’s injury history. He missed his right two seasons due to two surgeries in first foot.
Due to injuries and minutes restrictions, Embiid has only played in 31 games.
As a result, he has been criticized on social media for his lack of durability.
“I see what everybody says on twitter,” Embiid said. “It doesn’t matter. I love it. I love critics. It just makes me better.”
“I love seeing people say that I can’t do this. I’m going to go out and work on it and come out the next game … and whatever [they say] I can’t do, I’ll show people, yeah, I can do this.”