If you have ever loved basketball for the sheer grace of the game, then you will be a fan of Joel Embiid. Embiid, whose movements on the court echo those of NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon, is a rookie who acts like one in all the right ways. Just watch his joyful, youthful reaction to T.J. McConnell hitting the game-winning buzzer beater against the Knicks. Embiid is the happiest guy in the arena, and there are a lot of happy Sixers fans these days.
Sixers’ T. J. McConnell hits buzzer-beater to top Knicks in wild end-to-end finish (all angles) pic.twitter.com/os6ahU98vT
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) January 12, 2017
Because the 76ers are suddenly, after years of historic ineptitude, winners of four out of their last five. They are playing with enthusiasm and purpose. And if the young team isn’t exactly a defensive machine, they are doing plenty of things right and maximizing on their offensive talents. Is “the process” — that long combination of draft picks and tanking — finally over? The Sixers bigs are still on minutes restrictions. They linger near the bottom of the standings despite the recent surge. But #1 pick Ben Simmons hasn’t even played yet and Philly is suddenly a good place to see a game