By Jon Carlos RodriguezJoel Embiid scored 46 points in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers and it nearly broke the internet.
Because not only did Embiid drop a career-high on 14 of 20 shooting, he also grabbed 15 rebounds, dished out seven assists, and blocked seven shots. Nobody, not MJ, not Kobe, not LeBron, has ever posted those numbers before. This means Embiid is well on his way to become (whispers softly) the GOAT.
More than the numbers, what made Embiid’s breakout game ultra special was the way he galloped, shimmied, and damn near shouted “FOR SAM!” early in the fourth quarter after hitting a high-arching 3.
In one play, Embiid attacked the basket from the right wing, and was challenged by fellow seven-footer Brook Lopez. Lopez was (relatively) quick to his feet and proceeded to put both arms up to prevent a dunk. But before Lopez’s arms could even reach full defense mode, Embiid side-stepped his way to the open road and sped off with two easy points like no seven-footer should. It looked sinful.
There was another play where Embiid threw, like, a thousand posts moves on Julius Randle, and scored on an up-and-under, plus a foul. Walking to the freethrow line, Embiid, with a big smile on his face, shook his shoulders in case we missed what he just did. Randle, on the other hand, had the look of instant defeat, like a poor henchman on a Paquito Diaz-led gang.
And more than the way he did it, what made Embiid’s breakout game even more ultra special was the quote, which The Process delivered with impeccable timing:
“I wish I could have had a quadruple-double in blocks, shout out Hassan Whiteside.”
There’s a lot of talk about unicorns, and Porzingis, and Antetokounmpo this season. Here’s Embiid throwing his name in the hat:
[Photo from NBA; video from YouTube]