Joel Embiid is already my favorite non-Rockets player in the league to watch. His combination of skill, size and personality is absolutely intoxicating, and his background and style of play on both ends is so similar (similar, not equal) to Hakeem Olajuwon that it’s been impossible for me to resist.
And here he stands tonight, hosting the Rockets on ESPN in a game Houston actually kind of really wants to win, since they’ve won just three of their last nine games. No one is taking the Sixers any less than seriously anymore, but the Rockets’ run of beating every team under .500 (save the Bucks) is in peril. He’s reportedly a game-time decision.
Eric Gordon missed the Celtics game with back tightness, and he’s unlikely to play in this one (I’m sure we’ll have found out by the time this thread publishes, since I’m writing it in advance). If he doesn’t, and Embiid does, I’m predicting a Rockets loss, if only for momentum purposes.
Embiid is a matchup nightmare for Houston. Clint Capela might still play fewer minutes than The Process, and his backups are all even smaller. Embiid’s size is overwhelming, and his ability to pass out of double teams improves by the day it seems. James Harden’s shooting problems need to correct themselves tonight.