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Joel Embiid.

Joel Embiid claims he's "the best defensive player in the league"

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Joel Embiid may not consider himself to be 100 percent healthy yet but he's still able to be a dominant presence on the floor every night for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Regardless of how he's feeling physically, the center has supreme confidence in his ability and is not afraid to share it.

The 23-year-old is quickly becoming one of the best trash talkers in the league and regularly trolls opponents both on the court and off it via social media.

But he backs up his words with strong performances on the floor for the Sixers. Some of Embiid's most impressive work has come on the defensive end where has become an anchor for the 76ers.

He once again put this on display as he led Philly to a 101-81 rout of the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

Embiid's big defensive play of the night came against All-Star Damian Lillard as he made a huge block on the Blazers point guard.

The seven-footer - who posted 28 points, 12 rebounds and two rejections in the win - modestly stated that it was "just a regular block".

But in true Embiid fashion, he quickly followed it up with a bold claim.

"Not to be cocky, but I think I'm the best defensive player in the league right now," he said. "I just want to keep on growing. I'm still getting better.

"My blocks are a little bit down, but I'm a better rebounder this year. ... I'm doing a lot of things to help the team win, and the guys around me do a lot of things to help me, too.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

"I just want to keep on growing defensively and be the best defensive player in the league. Hopefully, this year I can win Defensive Player of the Year."

His numbers certainly back up his claim as he's averaging 11.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Philadelphia's defence ranks as the seventh-best in the league and Embiid is a big reason why.

The work he does defensively isn't impacting his offensive output as he leads the team with 22.7 points a night.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

Even though he doesn't feel completely healthy, 'The Process' has played 15 out of 17 games so far this year and is logging 29.3 minutes a night which is a huge boost for the franchise.

He is a big factor behind their 10-7 record and with him performing at this level, the 76ers have a great chance to make the playoffs this season.

Topics:
Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Allen Iverson

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