Joel Embiid has been surrounded with some pretty exceptional talent over the years. From Ben Simmons to Jimmy Butler, to Tobias Harris, the 76ers have not been in short supply of talented players.
With James Harden, however, things seem different. In their debut on Friday, the Sixers looked like a true contender as Embiid and Harden shared a few laughs after the game together.
In a chat with the media, Embiid shared some of his thoughts on Philly's newest duo, and how James is giving him some opportunities he's never seen before.
“That was probably the most wide-open I’ve ever been in my career,” Embiid said. “I had a lot of easy baskets. I used to have to go for everything, but in the fourth quarter, the shot-making ability, shot creation…you should’ve seen my face. I was just like, ‘I’ve never had this,’ nothing close to it. So, hopefully that continues.”
The duo combined for 61 points on Friday, with ball movement taking center stage in the big win. Even Harden couldn't help but show some excitement after his debut.
“For me, I haven’t been on the court in so long, it feels like,” said Harden. “My body feels great, personally, and then just to be around these guys who have the same common goal, coaching staff, and just top to bottom, winning. Tonight, I think defensively we were really good, and that’s what led to our offense being even better.”
After a long and dramatic war with Ben Simmons, the 76ers are finally in a position to focus on basketball. This time, they have guys that are fully bought-in and a roster that stacks up against the best.
This season, Joel Embiid will have the chance to lead his team to success they haven't seen in many years, and he knows full well what his squad is capable of.