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Sixers notes, quotes, and tidbits: Finally, no restrictions on Joel Embiid

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Sixers notes, quotes, and tidbits: Finally, no restrictions on Joel Embiid

CAMDEN, N.J. — Finally, there are no restrictions on Joel Embiid.

For the first time in Embiid’s career, Brett Brown should have his star center at practice every day, he shouldn’t have to worry about minutes restrictions, and he should be able to put Embiid in the lineup for back-to-backs without a second thought.

At one point in January, Brown mentioned that, “Joel practicing today makes it one of my happiest days.” So you can imagine how he feels about having an unrestricted Embiid this season.

“We all look at the ups and downs that the season had, whether it’s an injury or a mask, it’s hard for him to find his own personal rhythm and it obviously affects the team,” Brown said at training camp Sunday.  “This year, you come in and with everyone’s health, there’s a fluid side of everybody’s world — coaching, playing, individuals’ worlds — that we haven’t experienced before.

“I think he’s going to be dominant. I really think he’s going to be dominant. There’s not one thing I’ve seen this summer or in this gym behind me that suggests otherwise.”

We already know Embiid thinks he’s going to be dominant — an MVP contender, in fact. He worked with trainer Drew Hanlen this summer to sharpen his skills, especially in the low post, and make that goal a reality.

“I feel like every time I catch the ball, it’s either a foul or a bucket,” Embiid said. “We’ve been working a lot on handles and taking care of the ball. Sometimes that’s my downfall, so I've got to fix that. We’re going to see what I do.”

No casual scrimmage
Brown didn’t just roll the ball out and let his guys play at the Sixers’ end-of-practice scrimmage. His assistant coaches frequently stopped the action to set up plays in special situations or let the players know if anything wasn’t to their liking. 

His new lead assistant, Monty Williams, was heavily involved. At one point, Williams wasn’t happy with how his team had run a sideline out-of-bounds play and walked them through the various options they’d missed out on.

“We have to get better at our execution. Just run it again,” he said. “I don’t care if it works; just run it again.”

Williams thinks the biggest area he can help Brown is with the details (see story). He seems to already be making his mark.

Quotables 
“Last year watching the series, I think Boston just kind of got into them — that was the series. They had a chance to win. I think that’s kind of the focus this year, to try to match that intensity and beat Boston.” 

–New Sixer Wilson Chandler on how the team can overcome the Celtics

“My first two years, rehabbing the whole year and the offseason too, and coming into my third year, the same thing — I think I got here a couple days before the actual season. I don’t remember really playing preseason. And then last year … wait, this is my fourth year? No, this is my fifth year — time goes by fast.”

“And then last year, coming in and also rehabbing, I think I got here a week before the season. All those offseasons I wasn’t really allowed to work out and work on my basketball skills. So this summer, that’s what I was doing, and I’m excited. We’re going to see where that takes us.” 

–Joel Embiid on the benefits of his first healthy NBA offseason

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Sixers' Joel Embiid named All-Star starter for third consecutive season

Sixers' Joel Embiid named All-Star starter for third consecutive season

Joel Embiid is again one of the 10 best players in the NBA, according to fans, a panel of media members and his fellow players.

The Sixers’ center was named an All-Star starter on Thursday for the third consecutive season.

Starters were determined by the votes of fans (50 percent weight), media members (25 percent) and players (25 percent). 

Embiid has averaged 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for the 29-17 Sixers. He’s been sidelined for the past eight games with a torn ligament in the ring finger of his left hand. If Embiid is unable to play in the All-Star Game, which will take place on Feb. 16 in Chicago, then Commissioner Adam Silver will select an injury replacement. 

Though his scoring is down from last season, the Sixers have still been a much better team with Embiid on the floor than with him off it.

He’s second in the NBA in defensive win shares per game and fourth in defensive rebounding percentage (minimum 20 games played, 15 minutes per game). Lineups with Embiid have a 99.5 defensive rating, while lineups without him are at 106.9. 

It’s been an eventful year so far for Embiid, who’s been suspended for a fight and subsequent social media barbs, called load management “BS,” publicly grappled with questions about how to balance maturity and dominance, and sustained a nauseating injury.

Though the Cameroonian big man has said he cares most about being healthy and at his best for the playoffs, he now has another personal accolade.

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Sixers Talk podcast: Derrick Rose? Danilo Gallinari? Addressing the latest trade rumors

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Sixers Talk podcast: Derrick Rose? Danilo Gallinari? Addressing the latest trade rumors

On this edition of the Sixers Talk podcast presented by Wilmington University, Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick discuss the latest trade rumors, the latest injury news and the brutal schedule before the All-Star break.

• Do the Sixers have a chance to land Danilo Gallinari? Is Derrick Rose the best fit? Is Marcus Morris an option?

• Josh Richardson is now on the shelf. Who picks up the slack with the team down two starters?

• Have you seen the schedule before the break? Yikes.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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