Sixers’ Joel Embiid addresses narrative about missing games ahead of matchup vs. Nuggets, Nikola Jokic

Joel Embiid’s health has been a constant topic of conversation since before he even entered the league. If it wasn’t for questions about his foot back in 2014, he likely would have been the No. 1 pick in that year’s NBA Draft. A decade later, concerns about Embiid’s ability to stay on the floor remain.

The Philadelphia 76ers star has already missed 10 games this season and is on pace to play just 60, which would make him ineligible for year-end awards, like the MVP and All-NBA. This is because the NBA instituted a new player participation policy ahead of the season, indicating that players must appear in at least 65 games to be eligible for major awards. An appearance is defined as registering at least 20 minutes of action. Furthermore, a number of Embiid’s absences have come against other top teams, including the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves.

His next big matchup will come on Tuesday when the Sixers host Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. Embiid is expected to play despite the fact that he just returned from a three-game absence on Monday and that game will be the second of a back-to-back. After dropping 41 points and 10 rebounds on the Houston Rockets in another impressive showing, Embiid said he’s heard the noise:

“I saw it,” Embiid said. “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. It just happened. It was against New Orleans and Boston. I got the flu, obviously you can’t go. A lot of guys on the team had it. Like I said, the goal is to be ready for the playoffs. If I cant meet the criteria of 65 games, and if I can’t play against some of the best teams in the league then… As long as I’m ready to be dominant when it gets to that time in April, that’s all I care about.

“Every single team that I play against, I dominate. We win and I put up numbers necessary to win. You can’t read too much into it because one of the main things that I see is that as soon as you use the name Joel Embiid, that’s gonna get you a lot of likes and that’s gonna get you a lot of money. As long as my name has a chance to help somebody make money, I’m all for it. Keep trolling. I like it, I love it.”

Embiid’s big game against the Rockets was his 16th consecutive outing with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, which tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-longest such streak. For the season he’s averaging a league-leading 34.9 points, 11.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and two blocks per game on 53.6% shooting. While he’s certainly taken advantage of some lesser opponents along the way, he’s also dropped 51 points on the Timberwolves and their league-best defense and went for 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

If his comments on Monday are any indication, he’ll be looking to make a statement against Jokic and the Nuggets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *