Sixers Expect Joel Embiid to Be ‘Crown Jewel’ of Their Defense

Joel Embiid is healthy and on track to make his NBA debut at long last, and the Philadelphia Sixers have high hopes for the mammoth 22-year-old center.

Head coach Brett Brown says Embiid will anchor the team’s defense.

The big fella has fans in Philly salivating heading into the 2016-17 campaign.

Per CSN Philly:

“He needs to be the crown jewel, the centerpiece to our defense,” Brown said Thursday at his annual preseason luncheon with the media.


Over the course of his rehab, Embiid has been wowing with videos knocking down three-point shots. Brown, though, envisions him making an impact on the other end. He believes Embiid’s 7-foot-2, 276-pound presence is best utilized at the basket. Last season, the Sixers ranked last in the league in rebounds (41.2), opponents’ rebounds (47.6) and rebound differential (minus-6.4) per game. […] “I think he’s a rim protector,” Brown said.


Brown expects Embiid to be ready for the start of training camp on Sept. 27 and the preseason opener on Oct. 4 against the Celtics. Embiid and the Sixers have been waiting since draft night 2014 for Embiid to play his first game. Given the long recovery process, which took Embiid as far as Qatar, the Sixers are continuing to follow their carefully mapped out schedule. There will be restrictions for Embiid’s playing time, which are to be determined.