Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid hasn't been himself over the past few games, failing to crack the 20-point plateau in three consecutive contests. He believes it's due to a role change as recently acquired star Jimmy Butler has gradually taken on a larger part in the offense, forcing the frustrated 7-footer to play from the perimeter more often.
"I haven't been myself lately," Embiid said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey. "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 three-point range.
"But it seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, (76ers head coach Brett 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."
The 76ers have won nine of 12 since Butler debuted on Nov. 14. However, Embiid has struggled to replicate his dominant start to the year, with his averages dropping from 28.2 points on 48.4 percent shooting through his first 15 games to 23.8 points on 43.1 percent over his last 11 appearances.
"Since the trade, it's been really down," Embiid added. "I tend to get triple-teamed a lot. I was in the flow of the offense. I feel like I’m not any more. There's not a lot of possessions on the block. I don't know. We got to figure it out."
Embiid has scored 16, 15, and 10 points, respectively, before sitting out Friday's 117-111 win over the Detroit Pistons.