jamaalstar21 wrote:Embiid has not improved at all in his 4 years in the league. He's a nimble, athletic giant with a decent defensive motor, which makes him automatically one one of the best defensive players in the NBA. On offense, despite the size/athleticism, mobility and feathery touch... he still has no idea how to attack a defense. He's a post player that shoots 46% from the floor (same number as his rookie season). He hasn't improved as a passer. He's a little more effective in the mid-post this year. He looks pretty clueless with the ball in his hands. When he's not athletically dominating people, or on fire, he looks like a giant baby deer... 4 years in! Show me something big man!
Zion has been a defensive disappointment throughout 9 games. He certainly isn't flying Draymond right now. On offense... I feel you could throw him into any game with any player and he'd still be able to just be a cannonball with the most ridiculous second jump ever. He's going to help a team just by being on the floor. His rim diving "gravity" looks terrifying, just sucks the entire defense in when he starts to cut.
I dunno. Zion has only played 9 games so I still believe he can improve. Embiid is starting to make me worry that he won't improve. Embiid's basement when healthy is still perennial DPOY candidate wich is pretty good. I'll go with the unknown and pick Zion though.
Was hoping you’d go with Embiid at the end, but agreed on pretty much all points. I like defense so I’m not impartial.
If the question was "who's better/more impactful right now", I would say Embiid without hesitation. Also, if Zion doesn't project as a high impact defensive player, I'd swing back Embiid regardless of Zion's offensive potential.
Since we haven't seen the limit for Zion yet, it's easier to be tantalized by his potential. We're free to imagine the best possible Zion, and the data doesn't exist yet to dampen that enthusiasm. Since we have almost 200 games of Embiid (+ two playoff runs), it becomes much easier for us to project his career and imagine realistic best and worst case.
Once Embiid got healthy, he immediately burst into the NBA as a force of nature on both ends. A DPOY candidate and a 20 point scorer through sheer talent. I find it highly concerning that, despite that ridiculous talent, we haven't seen him find new things to do with it. His passing, shooting, offensive arsenal etc. has been almost completely stagnant, and he hasn't yet been good enough to dominate in the playoffs against tough matchups. The first 2 years I felt: "damn he's going to be unstoppable once he learns how to read defenses". The last 2 years I've felt more like "is he ever going to learn defenses?". I listened to Steve Nash talk about Amar'e (another late-comer to the game with super charged physical gifts) on a Bill Simmons pod. He talked about how Amar'e only learned to read backline defenses in his final season with the Suns/first season with New York (unfortunately right before the injuries overtook him). Maybe that could be the case for Jojo...he'll be a bit ineffective as a #1 option against elite defenses until he's 28 or 29? Joel is 25 right now. He does kind of remind me of a giant Amare on offense. Unstoppably talented but easily flummoxed.
It's never fair to compare a successful rookie to a veteran. We're still perimitted to picture the perfect Zion career and be excited about that. These comparisons are always automatically biased towards the young phenom over the veteran whose figuring out how to build on weaknesses the league has learned to exploit. And Zion so far sucks on defense...