Joel Embiid Named Eastern Conference All-Star Starter
The results are in for the NBA's All-Star starters. On Thursday night, the announcement was made, and the starting lineup has been set for the Eastern Conference. And for the third consecutive season, Philadelphia 76ers center, Joel Embiid, has been named a starter.
At this point, Embiid's dominance as a big man in the NBA is evident. On the offensive side of the ball, Embiid is a multi-talented big. He averages 23 points-per-game, shooting around 47-percent from the field.
We've seen many times just how smooth Embiid's jumper can be -- but for a center, his range is also impressive. On the 76ers, Embiid is shockingly one of their more reliable three-point shooters on the team, believe it or not.
While he may not be consistent, draining just 32-percent of his threes, Embiid has shown on multiple occasions that he can be dangerous all over the floor. As for his defense, it goes without saying he's one of the best on that side of the ball too.
This year, the 25-year-old center may be having a down year in comparison to last season when it comes to the numbers, but with the 31 performances he has put on display this year, it was still apparent Embiid belongs in the All-Star game.
Now, Embiid becomes the first Sixers player to enter the All-Star game as a starter for a third consecutive season since Allen Iverson did it back in the early 2000s. The Sixers' center joins elite company by becoming the eighth player in franchise history to start in three consecutive NBA All-Star games.
While Embiid's accomplishment is undeniably great, the big question is, will the big man play this year? For the last couple of weeks, Embiid has been out as he recovers from surgery after tearing a ligament in his finger. While he could be back in time for the big game, it's unclear if the Sixers will allow Embiid to play or not.
After all, Embiid did have some injury issues around this time last year. Apparently, the All-Star starter was experiencing some knee pain, which was caused by a play in a regular game not too long before All-Star weekend.
After his All-Star performance, Embiid would soon miss a good chunk of the season due to the knee injury. This year, Embiid could end up steering clear of Chicago during the All-Star weekend considering what happened last season. As of right now, though, that decision hasn't been made.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_