Joel Embiid tied his career-high by erupting for 50 points Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic. And if the game had been closer he may have scored 70. Maybe 75.
Seriously. Because it took all of 27:03 of floor time for the Philadelphia 76ers' big man to hang half a C-Note. A comfortable lead meant Embiid watching from the bench for all but 58 seconds of the fourth quarter. Which is a shame because when someone's going off, it's nice to see them go all the way off.
Embiid's 50-burger was the second-most efficient in NBA history, trailing only Klay Thompson, who reached the total in 26:33 of run back in 2018. Thompson poured in a record-setting 14 three-pointers in that one, which strangely makes what Embiid did even more impressive.
Seventeen of Embiid's 23 field-goal attempts found their mark and he was 15-for-17 from the free-throw line. He fell 13 triples shy of Thompson's total on a similarly explosive night.
The 76ers have been just fine despite the Ben Simmons' fiasco, thanks large in part to Embiid's MVP-caliber play. Though they sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, they are only 2.5 back of the Chicago Bulls. On any given night they have a player who can simply dominate the other team. There are times when it seems the only way to stop him is to have him stop himself. Glimpses of his insane skillset and capacity are a reminder that he's as big of a Problem as anyone in the league.