December 01, 2016
The day after the Sixers announced that rookie Joel Embiid would have his minutes restriction increased to 28, only to have their game against the Kings postponed because of unsafe court conditions, the center received the first of what will likely be many honors this season.
Embiid, who is crushing his rookie competition in many statistical categories, was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November. He's the fourth Sixers player to win the award and the first since Michael Carter-Williams (4x times in 2013-14). The others are Allen Iverson (2x in 1996-97) and Jerry Stackhouse (1x in 1995-96).
Here are some notes on just how good Embiid, who is expected to return to the court on Friday night against the Magic, has been in his limited action this season:
• First, a look at his stats and where they rank among NBA rookies:
• On Wednesday, head coach Brett Brown said that 36 minutes per game would be an ideal number for Embiid. So far in his rookie season, he's averaging 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per 36 minutes.
• Heading into play Wednesday night, his points per 36 were fifth in the NBA this season among players with at least 250 minutes played. That's all players, not just rookies. The guys in front of him: Russell Westbrook (31.5), Anthony Davis (30.8), DeMarcus Cousins (30.4), and DeMar DeRozan (29.3). He's also 20th in rebounds and first in blocks per 36 minutes.
• The last NBA rookie to average 18.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game for a full season was the Spurs’ Tim Duncan in 1997-98. He played 39.1 minutes per game that year, compared to just 22.8 so far for Embiid.
• He's the fifth player since 1983-84 to average 18.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game through his first 12 career games. The others, starting with the most recent are: Shaquille O’Neal (1992-93), Dikembe Mutombo (1991-92), David Robinson (1989-90), and Hakeem Olajuwon (1984-85).
• But Embiid has posted those numbers in 110 fewer minutes than any of those players due to his injury restrictions. He's totaled 218 points, 93 rebounds and 29 blocks in 274 total minutes. Of the four other players listed above to also reach those totals through their first 12 games, Olajuwon played the next fewest minutes (384, or 32 minutes/game).
• Embiid has six 20-point games. The next closest rookie has three (Jamal Murray, DEN).
• He has four double-doubles. The next closest rookie has two.
• He has scored in double figures in all 12 games this season, more than any other rookie.
• Embiid ranks 12th in the NBA in blocked shots with 29. Of the 13 players with at least 29 blocks this season, no one has done it in fewer minutes than Embiid's 274, which are 179 better than the next closest player (Alex Len, PHX : 453 minutes).
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