After sinking a three-pointer with less than a minute left in the Philadelphia 76ers' 118-111 win over the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, Joel Embiid made a shushing gesture as he ran back to the defensive end of the court.
The 25-year-old shrugged it off when asked about his actions during the postgame press conference, saying he was just looking to return to his usual form:
Rich Hofmann @rich_hofmann
Joel Embiid was asked about the shush after the game: “Just talking to myself, have not been playing up to my standards. Just frustrated.” “I don’t care how it looks… I’m just getting back to myself, being a good asshole, just playing basketball and trying to dominate.” https://t.co/uuXP7HmWXh
Embiid finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals in the Sixers' second straight victory following a four-game losing streak. It was a positive step for Embiid after a rough start to February.
In a 116-95 loss to Boston on Feb. 1, Embiid went 1-of-11 from the field (9.1 percent) for 11 points. While he registered a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double in Philly's 112-101 loss to Milwaukee on Feb. 6, he shot just 6-of-26 from the field (23.1 percent).
The offensive woes aren't limited to Embiid, though. The 76ers' 108.3 offensive rating ranks 20th in the NBA. The 2014 third overall pick elaborated on the team's problems on offense to reporters last week:
"No, we don't. Spacing is an issue. Sometimes we play fast, sometimes we play slow, but at the end of the day, when you think about it and as we try to get ready for the playoffs also, the game slows down. It becomes a half-court game and that's where we struggle the most so hopefully we do a better job in the next three games before All-Star."
Philadelphia will face the 37-16 Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday before the All-Star break.