Joel Embiid Did Something No NBA Player Has Ever Done
No, Embiid has nothing to do with the 2006 Matthew McConaughey rom-com, nor is he having trouble assuming the self-sufficiency and responsibilities of adulthood (his childlike goofiness is actually part of his charm).
He is truly fascinating as a concept, sure, but in reality, we haven't seen the full extent of what he can do. His career hasn't really "launched," so to speak, considering he was drafted over three years ago and has barely played the equivalent of half a season in total.
He false-started on two full seasons before missing all but 31 games in his truncated rookie year in 2016-17. He's got a seemingly infinite ceiling, but we've barely seen a glimpse of how high it can go because of all the missed games, his sitting back-to-backs, and minute restrictions up the wazoo.
That was, of course, until his signature performance last night in the Philadelphia 76ers' 115-109 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. We now know for certain that there's no such thing as Joel Embiid's ceiling, because he did something in that game that literally no one in the history of the NBA had ever done before.
In a healthy 34.5 minutes, Embiid destroyed the Lakers to the tune of 46 points (on 14-for-20 shooting from the field, 2-for-3 from three-point range, and 16-for-19 from the charity stripe), 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 blocks. That marks literally the first time since blocks became an official stat in 1973-74 that someone has recorded at least 46 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 blocks in a single game.
Sure, you can lower the blocks -- the most eye-popping part of that line -- and get a few interesting comparisons (via Basketball-Reference.com):
You can go ahead and lower the minimums even more, and Embiid joins another exclusive club, laced with some more Hall-of-Famers (and an eventual shoo-in):
Players with at least 40 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks in a game since 1984-85.
David Robinson (2x)
Joel Embiid pic.twitter.com/qAzrcLhgTO
— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 16, 2017
And for fantasy players, it's worth noting that by FanDuel's current scoring system (where steals and blocks are now worth 3 points instead of 2), Embiid's 93.5-point outing is tied for the fourth-highest score in the site's history:
But, let's just forget about altering the parameters and looking at individual stat categories and fantasy comparisons for a moment -- Embiid's massive, ridiculously efficient full line stands completely alone and has its very own page in the history books. Regardless of how the rest of his career goes, he'll always have last night.
That said, here's hoping that the 23-year-old can stay healthy enough to etch his name in there a few (or several) more times..