Joel Embiid: MVP? A Data Poem

This is dedicated to Basketball-Reference.com for the stats, Sam Hinkie for drafting Joel Embiid, Brett Brown for developing him, Ben Simmons for passing him the ball a lot, and my mom.

(Clears throat…)

There were those who said “he’ll never be healthy, shoulda tried to get Parker or Wiggins or Exum or Randle.”


There were those who said “of course you know he likes his social media and also he doesn’t ever practice, due to those questions of his health.”




There are those who say “we’re in the midst of a 3 point revolution and there is no turning back, why’d you draft all those big men?”


There are those who might say “Ya know…if a big guy gets to the line enough it’s fine if he doesn’t make em all, or shoots 50%, they’re all like that, I think maybe the seven-footers you know, maybe their hands are too big or something, or a coordination thing, it’s ok, as long as he’s gettin’ free points, I’ll take it, am I right or am I right, hahahahaha, free is free! Hahahahahahah.”



There are those who might say “there isn’t actually any benefit at all to putting the other team over the limit, limiting their transition opportunities, or forcing their best rim protectors to the bench. None I tell ya.”


There are those who might say “he’s too much of a diva to be willing to do all the dirty work that characterizes this town. What’s he doing jogging around, making them InstaFace videos? Drinking shirley temples at Center City Sips with models and then wearing his fashion? No thanks. He does too much with the floppin’ and tauntin’ and this and that. In my day Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Dennis Rodman, Gary Payton, Isiah Thomas, they never did nothing to mess with their opponents or psyche them out, they just payed you know? Come in put your head down and work. Gimme the strong Silent type like Gary Cooper or Tyrone Hill.”




There are those who might say “Gimme that French kid for defense, what’s his name Gabberre? Goober? However you say it, you know the Stile Tower kid, he may not chase all them guards and all that nonsense but he’s the modern day Mutumbo, I saw him on the TV the other night. Terrific. And built sturdy you know?”



There are those who’d say “eh, he turns it over too much!”

To which some others might reply, “so do lot’s of top MVP Candidates it’s part of a high usage rate and responsibility, you saw Harden and Westbrook, and c’mon bro look at Greek Freak or LeBron’s turnovers.”


There are those who might say “just how efficient is this type of player in today’s modern, up tempo, positionless game anyway?”


There are those who might say “if he didn’t have a running mate like Ben Simmons and a high upside prospect like Markelle Fultz to help develop, if Dario was shooting better, he might at least have a bit more spacing to work with or catch some more easy lobs once in awhile.”


There are those who might say “I just don’t know if all of these sorta like old school traditional metrics withstand a more technical analysis or today’s advanced analytics, does that make sense? Also, can I just say, I like… kinda can’t stand Robert Covington, he’s so streaky, like on his three pointers, and I want him to make more, is that bad? Am I bad?”

To which others might reply “yes you’re clueless and insufferable, please leave.”




There are those who might say “fine but there’s no way you’re gonna convince me he also has the highest Defensive Rating for everyone in the NBA who plays 34 or more minutes, ok a—hole?”

There are those named Lowe who might say:

“Embiid has been monstrously dominant — an MVP candidate. The Sixers are plus-4.4 points per 100 possessions with Embiid on the floor, but opponents have blitzed them by 10.5 points per 100 possessions when he rests, per NBA.com.”


And then there are us fans. Who simply say “JoJo. MVP.”

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