By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Cameroon’s Joel Embiid, who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers has been named as the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for the games played in December and January.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced the result today and Joel Embiid who is in his fifth NBA season collects the accolade for the second time in his career.
Embiid joins Hall of Famers Allen Iverson (four times), Charles Barkley (twice), Moses Malone (twice) and Julius Erving (three times) as the only 76ers players to win the award multiple times.
“In 16 games between December and January, Embiid averaged 28.3 points (fourth in the NBA, second in the East), 11.1 rebounds (ninth in the NBA, sixth in the East), 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game,” said Halima Djigo, APO’s Senior Media Relations Manager in a communiqué to Pan African Visions
“He was one of three NBA players to average 25 points and 10 rebounds through the season’s first month-plus, joining Western Conference Player of the Month Nikola Jokić and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 76ers were 14-2 in Embiid’s 16 games and are 15-6 overall on the season, leading the Eastern Conference.”
According to Djigo, Embiid is the only player in the NBA with multiple 40-point, 10-rebound double-doubles. Embiid made 152 free throws during the season’s first month-plus, ranking second in the NBA while leading the league in free throws made (9.5) and attempted per game (11.3). “He was the only player in the league to make 16 free throws in multiple games. Iverson and Malone are the only 76ers ever to make at least nine free throws per game for an entire season,” She said.
Between Jan. 20-29, over a five-game span, Embiid averaged 35.6 points and 10.4 rebounds, while shooting .560 from the field and .429 from three-point range as the team went a perfect 5-0.
He became just the third 76er ever to average 35 points and 10 rebounds over a five-game stretch, joining Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Barkley.
The Sixers are 14-2 in the games Embiid has played. In 506 minutes when he’s been on the floor, they also have a stellar +13 net rating. In 507 minutes without him, that number falls to -4.03. On-off numbers can be noisy, especially so early in a season, but it’s clear how impactful Embiid has been when following the Sixers every game.
On Jan. 12 vs. Miami, Embiid tallied a season-high 45 points (16-23 FG, 13-13 FT), 16 rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals in the team’s 137-134 overtime victory. It was his ninth career 40-point, 10-rebound game, adding his 10th such performance eight days later on Jan. 20 vs. Boston.
About the Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most storied franchises in the National Basketball Association, having won three World Championships, earning nine trips to The Finals and making 50 playoff appearances over 71 seasons. The Philadelphia 76ers organization is a Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment property.