Joel Embiid’s body ‘feels great,’ says struggles due to new offense with Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler (left) and Joel Embiid

“My body feels great, and it’s just I haven’t been playing well,” Embiid said Friday.

Joel Embiid was held out of Friday’s matchup against the Pistons due to “rest,” but the 76ers center said its not recovery he needed Friday.

Embiid explained he has struggled recently due to how he is being used in the offense since the arrival of Jimmy Butler, and that his absence wasn’t because he’s tired.

“I haven’t been myself lately,” Embiid told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I think it’s mainly because of the way I’ve been used, which is I’m being used as a spacer, I guess, a stretch five, which [is why] I’m only shooting [29] percent [from 3-point range.]

“But it seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, [Brown] always has me starting on the perimeter … and it just really frustrates me. My body feels great, and it’s just I haven’t been playing well.”

Embiid rested one game removed from tying a season-low scoring output with 10 points. His 25 points over his last two games was his worst two-game stretch of the year.

However, since Butler has been integrated into the 76ers lineup, Embiid’s numbers have stayed steady. Before Butler arrived the 2014 No. 3 overall draft pick was averaging 28.2 points and after he is putting up 23.8. And, if his recent three-game slump where he scored a total of 41 points isn’t factored in, he is averaging 27.6.

The former Kansas Jayhawk is struggling of late, but his head coach isn’t sure it has much to do with Butler.

“I do not see the connection of Jimmy having much to do with spacing,” Brown said. “In fact, I think it completely enhances the possibility to have better spacing.”

The 76ers went on to beat the Pistons and bring the team’s record to 10-3 with Butler on the roster — without the veteran forward Philadelphia was 8-6.

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