The NBA, the world’s most popular basketball league and one of the top sports in America, is on pace for a record-breaking season. It all started with Michael Jordan back in 1996 when he joined forces with Nike to create Air Jordans. Since then, players have been wearing them so much that they’re not just sneakers anymore–they’ve become cultural icons and even artistic works of art worth millions of dollars.,

Joel Embiid is an NBA player. He used Michael Jordan highlights to take his game to the next level, and it’s paying off. Read more in detail here: how old is joel embiid.

While James Harden may have gotten some of the attention, Joel Embiid is Philadelphia’s primary guy. It’s easy to view of the center as the final product because of his stature and raw skill, but that wasn’t always the case. Injuries and inconsistency dominated the storyline early in his 76ers tenure.

Although Embiid’s progress may be credited to a variety of variables, like staying healthy and adapting to life in the NBA, we do know one item that helped him elevate his game. Following a poor playoff in 2020, the big guy sat down to study Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and other contemporary greats on film. While it’s easy to dismiss it as a clichéd undertaking, it seems that such efforts are paying off.

Following the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Joel Embiid looked to footage of Michael Jordan and other luminaries.

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid takes a jump shot.

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid takes a jump shot. During the 2022 NBA Playoffs, Joel Embiid makes a jump shot. | Getty Images/Mitchell Leff

Let’s go back to the NBA Playoffs in 2020, even if it seems like an eternity has passed. The Philadelphia 76ers struggled in the playoffs, which took place in an Orlando bubble. The Boston Celtics swept them in the first round, and they returned home with little fanfare.

Joel Embiid had a good game, averaging 30.0 points and 12.3 rebounds in four games, but he wasn’t thrilled with his performance. Something had to shift in his thoughts.

“Embiid decided he was too one-dimensional,” Chris Mannix wrote in a Sports Illustrated report from March 2022. The big guy said, “I was simply a post-up player.” “That made it easy to keep track of me.”

In an attempt to modify that reality, the center began viewing footage of some live great performing in the playoffs.

Embiid started researching perimeter guys. Michael Jordan’s every made field goal, according to Hanlen. Then there’s Kobe Bryant. Next, there’s Dirk Nowitzki. Then there’s Kevin Durant. Hanlen obtained what he couldn’t locate on Synergy or YouTube from the team’s archives. Hanlen explains, “We chose aspects of their games that we believed he might duplicate.” They looked up Finals MVPs and counted how many of them attempted at least 20 shots each game throughout their respective postseason journeys. Jordan never tried less than 22 shots, according to Hanlen. Hanlen adds, “These players put their teams on their backs.”

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix

While it’s difficult to establish a direct relationship between these types of tales and on-court performance — maybe Embiid would have continued to progress regardless of what he saw — his efforts seem to have been well worth it.

Joel Embiid has risen to the occasion, proving his worth in the NBA Playoffs of 2022.

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‘Watch Michael Jordan and mimic him,’ it goes without saying, isn’t much of an improvement strategy. Joel Embiid, on the other hand, has stuck to his 2020 plan.

Embiid has only gotten better since his early playoff departure, according to the analytics. His finest season came in 2022, when he averaged 30.6 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. The center has played MVP-caliber basketball and has achieved his aim of becoming less one-dimensional, as indicated by his StatMuse shot charts. Joel’s finest work is still in the paint and on the right block, but he can score from everywhere. Even his three-point accuracy (37.1 percent) is commendable, although with the caveat that the sample size is limited.

Given that Hanlen noted shooting volume, it’s worth mentioning that Embiid has improved in this area as well. Next a season in which he attempted 15.7 shots per game, he increased it to 17.6 the following season. This season, the big man has improved even more, averaging 19.6 shots per game. While that figure has dropped a little in the playoffs of 2022, there are a few issues to consider, like Embiid’s thumb injury and the arrival of James Harden.

And, although it’s not directly noted in his film study, it’s become clear this year that the former third-round selection is ready to step up and be the leader. He held down the fort throughout the Ben Simmons controversy, has acclimated to life with Harden, and has pushed through discomfort to help the 76ers keep their season alive during the playoffs. That looks like a highlight reel play from Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

Despite the fact that Embiid only missed two games due to a recent concussion, his importance cannot be overstated. He does more than just score; he keeps opponents honest by forcing them to consider if double-teaming is worth the effort. You still want him to attempt jumpers, but you can’t just stand back and let Embiid shoot away from the elbow. He’ll strike enough of them to push a defender up the floor, setting off a domino effect.

Will it be enough to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA title? We’ll have to wait and see. Joel Embiid, on the other hand, is going above and above. He’s already achieved his aim of developing from a one-dimensional big guy into a true star.

Basketball-Reference.com provided the statistics.

RELATED: Joel Embiid Doesn’t Hold Pascal Siakam Responsible for His Injuries, But He Won’t Forgive Raptors Fans

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