Joel Embiid: I don't like shooting 3s

Joel Embiid declared he “does not like shooting 3s” after his new approach reaped rewards when the 76ers cruised to victory over the Raptors.

Philadelphia (22-12) eased to a 126-101 home win on Saturday against a Toronto (25-10) side who were without three key starters in the rested Kawhi Leonard, as well as injured duo Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas.

Embiid impressed with 27 points and 11 rebounds, not attempting a single three-pointer, the same strategy he deployed when scoring 24 in Wednesday’s rampant win over the Knicks.

The change of approach came after he shot 0-6 from range in Monday’s blowout loss to the Spurs and some publicly expressed frustration over his role. After the recent success, Embiid has no plans to change – for now at least.

“I don’t like shooting 3s,” Embiid said, per ESPN. “I only do it because of the spacing that we have, and sometimes I have to take them. I have to be on the perimeter, just getting guys open, because of all the attention that sometimes it seems are presented to me.

“I don’t like shooting 3s. I only do it because I got to make it work, but the last couple games, mainly the last two games, my mindset has been, if I’m on the perimeter, it doesn’t mean that I have to shoot 3s. 

“Even if I’m wide open, I think I had a couple of opportunities [against the Raptors] and last game against the Knicks where I could’ve shot it, but I took one dribble and I took a midway shot.

“That’s what I’m comfortable with and it’s working. I feel like my efficiency is getting back to where it should be. Part of the problem that I see with myself is, I should never shoot under 50 per cent and I do it a lot.

“It’s all about getting my efficiency back and I feel like shooting 3s had a lot to do with me shooting under 50 per cent. It was a good win, but to me it doesn’t mean anything [because of Toronto’s missing players].”

Embiid’s ability from three-pointers has helped to reinvent the center position in the NBA, and the 24-year-old would not go as far to say this will always be how he feels.

“I wouldn’t say I don’t totally like [shooting them],” he said. “I mean, it’s cool and all that. But when you look at yourself and see how dominant you can be inside – it doesn’t matter.

“I can score in so many ways. Right now, I’m not feeling comfortable being in that situation. I’m sure I’m gonna take some. I’m sure some games I’m going to take 10, some games I’m going to take 15 – you’ll see.”

Ben Simmons had 26 points, eight assists and 12 rebounds, while JJ Redick chipped in with 22 points as the 76ers won only their third game in 23 meetings with the Raptors.

And Simmons said of Embiid: “When he plays that way all the time, I think he is unstoppable.”