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Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid says he's not tired, he's 'frustrated' with his role and 'hasn't been himself lately'

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Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler [NBA Getty Images]

Philadelphia 76ers star centre Joel Embiid sat out Friday's victory over the Detroit Pistons to 'rest', but after the game he told The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey that he's not tired, he's frustrated.

"I haven't been myself lately," Embiid said to 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 I'm only shooting [29] percent" from three-point range.

It seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, [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 rest did not seem out of the ordinary, considering Embiid's 892 minutes played is currently top five in the NBA.

This report, however, comes timely as 76ers recently acquired guard Jimmy Butler has taken an increased role in the offence. He's scored 38 points in the Sixers' loss to the Raptors on Wednesday, then scored another 38 points tonight in a win over the Pistons with Embiid out of the lineup.

Brown agreed that the Sixers need to do a better job of spacing, but said he does not see it as a repercussion of adding Butler to the lineup, "I don't want to connect those dots, but I think in general we all have to do better at creating space for Joel."

The 76ers are 9-3 since trading for Butler. Embiid is averaging 24.8 points and 13.7 rebounds through those 12 games, just slightly below his season averages in both categories. With that being said, he's struggled offensively the last four games averaging just 13.7 points on 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 11.1 percent shooting from deep.

As for Embiid, he did not directly pin this feeling of frustration on Butler either, "since the trade, (my success) has been really down, I tend to get triple-teamed a lot. I was in the flow of the offence. I feel like I'm not anymore. There's not a lot of possessions on the block. I don't know. We got to figure it out," he told Pompey.

MORE: Embiid vs. Drummond: breaking down the rivalry

You can assume Embiid will return to action on Monday when the 76ers have their rematch of tonight's game against his rival Andre Drummond and the Pistons.

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