Golden State Warriors have high praise for the Sixers’ Joel Embiid
“It’s like playing against Patrick Ewing or Shaq or Hakeem Olajuwon," Warriors coach Steve Kerr says of facing the Embiid.
The Golden State Warriors have the utmost respect for what Joel Embiid is capable of on the basketball court.
“Playing against Joel is like going into a time machine,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s like playing against Patrick Ewing or Shaq or Hakeem Olajuwon. It’s a low-post game. He will step up and shoot threes and run some DHOs [dribble handoffs] and he’s good with that.
“But he’s one of the few guys in the league now who can dominate a game from the low block, and they’ve done a great with their roster, putting a lot of shooting around him.”
The 7-foot-2 Embiid took averages of 24.1 points and 10.9 rebounds into Saturday night’s nationally televised game against the Warriors at the Wells Fargo Center. Doing a better job of passing out of double-teams, he also averaged a career-best 4.2 assists and a career-low 2.6 turnovers.
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“He’s super talented, physical with his presence, it seems like the control of his game, his decision-making, in terms of how he’s getting his points has evolved every year,” Warriors guard Steph Curry said.
Golden State, however, has had some success in guarding the big man.
Embiid has averaged 22.2 points and 11.6 rebounds in five career games against the Warriors prior to Saturday night. But he only shot 42.4% from the field, including 18.8% on three-pointers.
Sixers healthy vs. Warriors
In what has been a rarity this season, the Sixers had no injuries to report before their matchup against the Warriors. Embiid played with abdominal pain in his right side during Thursday’s loss to the Utah Jazz. He received treatment late in the third quarter and returned to play. The ailment is not lingering.
“They treated it,” coach Doc Rivers said. “If it was something serious, they would have come to me.”
Iguodala cleared to play
Former Sixer Andre Iguodala was cleared to play for the Warriors. The 18-year veteran had missed the past 11 games with right knee soreness.