Joel Embiid thinks 76ers 'have a chance' to make playoffs
NEW YORK -- Joel Embiid is no longer just trusting the process. Now he's talking about the playoffs after the Philadelphia 76ers notched their 10th victory Sunday to match their total from last season.
The 76ers improved to 10-25 after their 105-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. They were 10-72 in 2015-16, just one loss away from matching their own NBA record for the worst finish in an 82-game schedule (set by the 1972-73 Sixers).
Embiid said he has looked at the standings, where the 76ers are eight games back of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, and he believes that should be a goal.
"I think we have a chance. We've been hot lately,'' he said. "We've won three out of four lately, so I look at it, and I think we have a chance, and we're really figuring things out. We're starting to learn how to win games.''
Embiid did his damage without even reaching the 28-minute restriction he was limited to as he recovers from a series of foot injuries that delayed his NBA debut for two years. He left the court to chants of "Trust the process!'' in a nod to what he and others reminded fans while the Sixers lost big during former general manager Sam Hinkie's rebuilding plan.
Even as the victories come, coach Brett Brown said the building process remains most important.
"We are winning basketball games more frequently than we have been, but for us it's still, how are we doing what we do?'' Brown said. "Are we doing our job? Are we not skipping steps? Are we putting in good days? And we believe as simple as that might sound, that they will add up.''
Embiid scored 20 points in Sunday's victory. He entered the game averaging 19.3 points per game in his first season after missing the past two with a foot injury.
It was Embiid's sixth straight 20-point game, a streak in which he has played under 30 minutes in each game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the longest streak of its kind since the NBA began recording minutes in 1951-52.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.