Daily MVP Film Breakdown: Embiid Schools Ayton

Joel Embiid dominated on the second night of a back to back, scoring 42 points and 18 boards in a win over the Suns.

Embiid faced off against Deandre Ayton, the rookie top pick that many analysts compared to him. Before the season, Embiid was not shy about saying Ayton had a long way to go.

“When you talk about ‘He looks like Joel Embiid,’ I play on both sides of the court,”Embiid said. “I think I’m a good offensive player, good defensive player, I do it on both ends of the floor. I watched him play and he’s got a lot of work to do, but he’s got a lot of potential. He’s going to be really good.”

That’s something you have to respect about Joel Embiid, he will always tell you exactly what’s on his mind. Although, he hasn’t smack talked an opponent on Instagram since early November. He let his play do the talking against Ayton.

Embiid alluded to Ayton’s limitations as a defender, and exposed some of them by forcing the rookie to guard him in space, and beating him down the floor for easy layups.

Embiid also got the benefit of the doubt over Ayton on some foul calls. He’s seven feet tall and 250 pounds of muscle, and very often the only way to stop him from putting the ball in the hole is by wrapping him up or whacking his arm.

This one is super questionable, and Ayton goes up to the ref visibly perplexed about what he did wrong.

Plenty of things make Joel Embiid a special big man, and his ability to shoot the ball effectively is a major one. He’s 30% from three this year, which is pretty good for a guy that big. He also uses crisp post moves to get jumpers off near the basket.

We know that Embiid doesn’t particularly like shooting three pointers, because he told us that straight up. He can do it, and he has to on a team with a dearth of long-range shooting. Still, he looks much more at home driving the ball and annihilating the rim.

Embiid scored 30 of his 42 points in the first half, but he never took his foot off the gas. If his legs were tired after 28 and 19 in 35 minutes the night before, it did not show.

The Process is absolutely unstoppable on some nights, and that was the case on Thursday. He silently backed up his statement from earlier in the year, showing that Ayton does indeed have a long way to go before getting to Embiid’s level.

  
Daily previews of matchups to watch around the league, and film breakdowns of the best performance from the night before. Twitter @RealTomPetrini, Spurs interviews and analysis @projectspurs.

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