‣ Joel Embiid returned to action this Monday night against the Rockets and delivered an outstanding performance, leading the Sixers to a 124-115 win.
‣ Embiid has already missed 10 games this season and is on pace to play just 60 regular-season games, which would make him ineligible for the end of the year awards, such as All-NBA and MVP.
‣ Despite his health issues, Embiid has dominated every game he has played, and his recent game against the Rockets was his 16th consecutive game scoring at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Joel Embiid, with an extended answer on the opportunity for a “measuring stick” game against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets tonight.
“Who doesn’t want to play against the best?…it’s fun to play against the best. You kind of measure yourself and see where you are.”
— PHLY Sixers (@PHLY_Sixers)
Joel Embiid made a triumphant return to the court on Monday night. His 41-point double-double against the Rockets was nothing short of outstanding, showing why he’s a serious contender for the NBA’s MVP.
The Sixers’ victory, a 124-115 win, was all the more sweet because Embiid had been sidelined due to a recurring illness. But here’s the catch: Embiid has already missed 10 games this season. He’s on track to play just 60 regular-season games, which could make him ineligible for the end-of-year awards, including All-NBA and MVP.
In simpler terms, Embiid is only eight missed games away from potentially losing his chance at a second-consecutive MVP title. Embiid’s health has been a hot topic this season, despite his consistent domination on the court. After his recent performance against Houston, Embiid addressed the chatter surrounding his absences.
He said, “I saw it. But I can’t control if I get sick, if I get the flu or whatever. Can’t control that. Can’t control if my knee is gonna swell up.” He added that his goal is to be ready for the playoffs, even if he doesn’t meet the 65-game criteria.
Embiid also touched on the impact of social media. He feels he’s become a victim of trends, with fans and media outlets using his name to create narratives for likes or attention. But the reigning MVP isn’t bothered. In fact, he says the trolling only fuels him to play stronger.
He said, “Every single team that I play against, I dominate. We win and I put up numbers necessary to win.” He added that as long as his name helps someone make money, he’s all for it. “Keep trolling. I like it, I love it,” he said.
It would be a shame if Embiid isn’t eligible for the year-end awards. His stats are impressive, to say the least. His recent game against the Rockets was his 16th consecutive game scoring at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. This ties him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-longest streak.
But former star Shaquille O’Neal isn’t so easily impressed. He challenges Embiid to prove he can dominate in the playoffs, just as legend Abdul-Jabbar once challenged him.
O’Neal said, “I’m a give it to him like Kareem gave it to me. He should take it as disrespectful. We know what you can do but can you do it at the big dance?”
The ESPN analyst questioned Embiid’s consistency, noting that he’s missed games against top teams like the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves. His next big game is on Tuesday, against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
This season, Embiid has been averaging a league-leading 34.9 points, 11.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and two blocks per match on 53.6% overall shooting. But will that be enough to secure his place as one of the NBA’s greats? Only time will tell.