Sixers squash Hornets behind Embiid’s 42-point performance

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Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid argues with an official during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

The Philadelphia 76ers played the second of back-to-back games Saturday night. After defeating the Pistons in Philly on Friday, the Sixers next traveled down to Charlotte to face off against a drastically short-handed Hornets team.

While the Sixers entered the night with little doubt, they still managed to exceed expectations, throttling the lowly home team by a final score of 135-82. While it was a team effort, there was one premier standout from the game, the generational dominance that was displayed by Joel Embiid.

Generational Dominance

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, center, looks to pass against Charlotte Hornets center Nick Richards (4) and guard Terry Rozier during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Joel Embiid is dominant. Let’s try that again, Joel Embiid has been the most dominant player in the NBA this season. Okay, one last time, Joel Embiid has been generationally dominant this season.

This latest performance, 42 points and 15 rebounds on 18/23 shooting in 29 minutes is the latest case of Embiid’s historically impressive season. It has also put him on track to join an echelon so rarefied that the only other name is that of Wilt Chamberlain.

After his performance against the Hornets that required only three-quarters of play, Joel Embiid is on pace to join the legendary Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to have more points than minutes played in an NBA season (minimum 1000 points) according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dan Roche and All PHLY’s Derek Bodner.

Nearly 70 percent of the regular season remains, but it seems as though Embiid is just beginning to find his groove. A large part of that is the lower level of competition he’s faced in the Sixers’ recent six-game stretch, but the reigning MVP has been consistently dominant no matter the opponent this season.

Leading the league in scoring, averaging 34.1 points per game, Embiid is not only on pace to lead the league for the third consecutive season, but he could become the fourth center in NBA history to average at least 34 points per game throughout a season. He would join Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob McAdoo as the only centers to do so.

Simply put, Joel Embiid is generationally dominant.

Up next for the Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts after scoring a three point basket to give his team the lead in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

The Sixers have one more game in their rather light seven-game stretch, a home matchup against the Chicago Bulls. While coming into this run of games it looked as though the Bulls would be as easy a matchup as any other, they have begun to turn their season around, appearing far more competitive over their last seven games, winning five matchups in that time. Coincidentally, Zach LaVine has been absent from the floor for Chicago for the past seven games.

To maintain their winning streak, the Sixers can ill afford to underestimate their opponent heading into Monday’s matchup.