“Me, personally, I was careless with the ball,” Joel Embiid told the’s Derek Bodner.

“I had too many turnovers, and we didn’t have the same focus that we had in the first three quarters.”

Recognizing, and responding to, double-teams continues to be Embiid’s biggest weakness. His moves can frequently feel predetermined, overly complicated and forced. His handle is not nearly tight enough, or in control enough, for the moves he tries to pull off in traffic — a weakness that’s then compounded by an almost stubborn insistence on forcing the action rather than letting the game come to him. His nearly reckless determination to attack the rim has shown to be counterproductive at times.

Embiid’s defensive reads and awareness have always been exemplary, but the other end of the court can still feel like a work in progress when he lacks a clear strength advantage. There will be some nights when he’s just too big, too strong and too talented, and he’ll overwhelm a defense and look unstoppable. But force Embiid to beat a team with patience and precision and he can still be prone to careless and reckless play.

Those tendencies were only made worse by Embiid’s lack of energy in the second half, something his head coach acknowledged.

“We’re growing Joel’s fitness base and trying to continually move that forward where he can be Joel Embiid,” coach Brett Brown said. “We’re going to continue to just get him as healthy as we can and help put him in a position where he can be Joel Embiid.”

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