OPINION: Big Men Belong Down Low

The Philadelphia 76ers faced the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday afternoon in a matchup of two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers were able to defeat the Bucks in a close one on the road, 130-125.

Now, while the Sixers were able to pullout a resounding win in Milwaukee there was one huge problem in that win against the Bucks. The problem was that the Sixers shot 32 three pointers in that win, and Joel Embiid shot 13 of them.

Embiid is a 7’2″ center and he shot more three’s yesterday than the team’s guards. JJ Redick, a three point specialist, shot 4 three’s in that win. The Sixers have their center shooting three times as many threes as one of the best shooters in the league.

That is a problem.

The Sixers have the best center in the league in Embiid. Players of his size and skill are once-in-generation. His ability to handle the ball, work in the post and his outside shooting is phenomenal.

That being said, just because Embiid has the ability to hit shots on the perimeter does not mean he should be shooting at the rate he is. While Embiid may have some of the skills of a guard, at the end of the day, he is still a center.

Embiid taking that many three pointers hurts the team in multiple ways.

One is that it moves him from the basket on offense. Embiid being further from the basket limits the offense rebounds he can grab, thus limiting second chance scoring opportunities for the Sixers.

It also hinders Embiid’s best asset his ability to work in the post. The reason opposing coaches stay up all night trying to game plan for Embiid is because of his skills on the low block. His footwork and post moves down low allow him to score in a multitude of ways that drive opposing coaches insane.

The Golden State Warriors success over the past few years has caused an obsession with the three ball. Guards and now even forwards and centers are shooting three’s at a much higher rate than in years past.

Embiid shooting three’s is not a bad thing in the slightest. When the defense is able to pull a big man from out of the paint, you want them to be able to hit outside shots.

However, teams also do not want their big’s falling in love with these three-point shot either because it stops them from doing what they are best at.

Sunday’s win was big for the Sixers. They were able to beat the team with the best record in the league, on the road. And they did this despite the Greek-Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo putting up 52 points.

Sunday’s win was big, but it did have its flaws. The Sixers can make a deep post season run but they will not be able to win a title if Joel Embiid is the team’s best three-point shooter.

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Chris Collymore

I'm an aspiring sports journalist who believes these few things; Basketball is the world's greatest sport, The PS2 is the greatest console, Avatar: The Last Airbender is the world's greatest show and Football is the world's greatest religion.

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