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Joel Embiid Will Get Affected the Most by the Lean-In Rule Change

Who Likes to Lean in to Gain More Fouls in the 2021 Playoffs

Trae Young has a 15.4% chance of leaning in to draw a foul

Joel Embiid has an 18.2% chance of leaning in to draw a foul

Joel Embiid gets double teamed 28% of the time when he has the ball

How Did I Calculate These Stats?

Last year, the NBA battled a global pandemic during their season. In the 2021 season, the problem isn’t COVID-19, it is the lean-in foul. The NBA is currently in talks to implement a rule that would ban players from deliberately leaning in to draw a foul. But who would this change affect the most? I watched Joel Embiid and Trae Young in both rounds of the 2021 playoffs and they are two of the players that love to lean into opponents. To calculate the lean-in percentage for these two players, I counted the number of times they were fouled (and clearly leaned in) and divided by total shots attempted in this postseason (via I used the same methodology to calculate Embiid’s lean-in percentage and how often he is double-teamed.

What Will Happen if this Rule Gets Changed?

For some players, it will be easy to adapt without the ability to draw easy fouls. For some, though, it may be difficult to get used to a rule that did not exist before, and also may be hard because of the style certain players have. Philadelphia’s superstar center, Joel Embiid, will likely be affected the most if the NBA agrees to change the rule. Embiid is someone who plays with a lot of emotion and feeds off the energy of the fans. Joel uses that boost to dominate his opponents in the paint. Don’t forget that Joel has been double-teamed 28% of the time in the 2021 playoffs. In these situations, he is often forced to use that lean-in method to draw fouls or create some space. It will be interesting to see how the NBA moves forward with this proposal and how players like Young and Embiid will adjust their game to remain successful if it is approved.

By Contributor Blogger,

Jacob Mauriello

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