When Julius Erving talks, the 76ers nation listens, and Dr. J had plenty of comments about Philadelphia’s young roster going into next season.
Joel Embiid made his first All-Star Game in 2017-18 and Erving likes his game, but he sees some room for improvement.
“Joel is really a guy who has shown no weakness from a skill standpoint, offensively or defensively, so I think he just has to be more of a leader, maybe more of a vocal leader and probably in terms of night in and night out, doing things with matchups on the court that would allow him to be a consistent force,” Erving told reporters at Saturday’s Sixers Summer Tour at the 82nd Street Recreation Center in Philadelphia, via Philly.com.
Embiid has said in the past he wants to win Defensive Player of the Year and even an MVP, but having played just one full season, he still has a ways to go in the game of basketball. It will also help if his running mate Ben Simmons gets better as well.
Erving thinks Simmons has some work to do too, though he’s confident he is doing his best to improve.
“I always thought you work on the skills you are weak in and you work also to improve the skills where you are strong and then you just try to be a consistent force night in and night out,” Erving said. “So with Ben’s shooting, mid-range, long-range, I am sure he has put a lot of time in practicing that.”
The 76ers made the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12 last year and did so flourishing in the east, finishing third in their conference. They even won their first-round series against the Heat before falling to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
This was certainly a step in the right direction, but to Erving, this was just the first of many.
“The team is not complete,” Erving said. “I think the team has the core, which is very important to have, and now you have to get the tentacles, you have to get the role players and then you have to get the surprise guys that are better than you thought they were.”