CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid sat out the Sixers’ practice on Monday. In past years, that would be a cause for grave concern and frantic speculation.
This season, there’s no reason to read too much into it. Monday was simply a “load management” day for Embiid ahead of the team’s Blue-White scrimmage Tuesday night at the Palestra (7 p.m., NBCSP).
“We had two great days and [Tuesday] he’ll come in, and it’s sort of a game day for us,” head coach Brett Brown said. “We’ll come in, have a shootaround, then go to the Palestra and play in front of a fantastic crowd. We just felt like it would be good to let him have [Monday] to rest and we’ll jump back into it [Tuesday.]”
It wasn’t an entirely idle day for Embiid, however, who worked on his game after practice.
Joel Embiid didn't practice today, but he's working after practice. pic.twitter.com/lqz40fjUjl— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) September 24, 2018
The Sixers will throw in a rest day for Embiid here and there, but he’s unrestricted for the first time in his career (see story).
Learning from the best
After each day of training camp, rookie Landry Shamet and JJ Redick have been taking corner threes, shot-faking and pulling up, launching floaters — fine-tuning the skills shooters need to thrive in the NBA.
Landry Shamet and JJ Redick, Day 2. pic.twitter.com/j1HLhIDOYZ— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) September 23, 2018
Shamet said he’s already picked up a lot from Redick, who is entering his 13th season in the NBA. Redick has made 1,464 three-point shots in his career, 30th most in NBA history. He’s a career 41.5 percent three-point shooter.
“He’s one of the best shooters, when you look back on it, in NBA history,” Shamet said. “I just try to take little bits and pieces of how he gets open, because he’s not the biggest guy, especially in the NBA. He’s really good with his feet, with his hands, knowing how to create space. So even when I’m guarding him, I’m picking things up on what he does to me and how he gets open.”
“Just not worrying about what people say. Not worrying about what the media says, fans. At the end of the day, this is his job. He loves playing ball. We all love what we do, so we can’t worry about what [the media] says or what the fans say or what people are saying on the internet — it doesn’t matter. He’s a great player and he wants to work hard. He knows greatness doesn’t take a week or a month or a year, it takes a long period of time.”
-Ben Simmons on the confidence he’s seen from Markelle Fultz
“We obviously want him to get inside; he’s as good as anybody in the NBA. But to feel like that’s the only thing he can do is really naïve and I don’t think great coaching. So me coaching, it’s getting that balance of post up, post up, post up, dunk, dunk, dunk vs. he’s trailing in and nobody’s guarding him, shoot some threes and space him in corners as we put Markelle in a pick-and-roll. That interests me. As I said, so much of Joel’s interesting situation is he’s good at a lot. He really is skillful and has the ability to score in a lot of different ways.”
-Brett Brown on why he still wants Joel Embiid to shoot a good number of three-pointers