The Philadelphia 76ers have gone 8-3 since they pulled Jimmy Butler out of a tense situation in Minnesota. Things may look fine, but according to Sixers big man Joel Embiid, adding Butler to the offense has thrown a wrench in his game.
After being benched on Friday so that he could rest, Embiid expressed concerns over the way he's being used in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. The center said his play has been off because the Sixers are moving him to the outside and away from the paint, where he does most of his best work.
“I haven’t been myself lately,” said Embiid. “I think it’s mainly because of the way I’ve been used, which is I’m being used as a spacer, I guess, a stretch five." He pointed out he's shooting 29 percent from three-point range."
"It seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, [Brown] always has me starting on the perimeter…and it just really frustrates me," he added. "My body feels great, and it’s just I haven’t been playing well.”
Embiid's not just talking about gut feelings: His production really has been down since the Butler trade. In the last 11 games, Embiid shot 43.1 percent and averaged 23.8 points per game. That's off from the 15 games before the trade where he averaged 28.2 points per game on 48 percent shooting.
“Since the trade, it’s been really down,” he said. “I tend to get triple-teamed a lot. I was in the flow of the offense. I feel like I’m not any more. There’s not a lot of possessions on the block. I don’t know. We got to figure it out.”