Philadelphia 76ers’ center Joel Embiid is reportedly playing through a knee injury to cover for Ben Simmons, who continues to be an absence for the franchise. The team wants at least one of them to make it to the court and lead the rest of the entourage of Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, and others.
With the absence of Simmons, Embiid wants to show leadership to the outfit of players and is leading from the front by playing through pain. He suffered a blow to his knee during a collision with New Orleans Pelicans’ Jonas Valanciunas in the season opener.
While Embiid has battled through and played every game so far, he has been far from his best with 18.3 points per game average so far. He also had to alter his game due to injury and has been settling for plenty of jumpers instead of going ballistic around the basket as usual.
The Cameroonian hooper reportedly told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he could not walk for two days following the game against the Pelicans. While he was back on the court in less than two days to face the Nets, once can understand the agony Embiid is going through.
“He told me, after this game in New Orleans, he couldn’t walk for two days.He’s playing, because Ben Simmons is not playing, and they need one of them on the court. He wants to show leadership.”
Embiid fears losing out on MVP over lack of games
The added fears of losing the MVP over injury also played on the mind of the player. Embiid was in contention for the MVP award alongside Nikola Jokic, but lost out due to the fact he missed a portion of games before the playoffs. Back then, it was a knee injury that spelled trouble for Embiid.
“He lost out on MVP last year, because he didn’t play quite enough games. He doesn’t want to do that again this year.There is a sense that maybe he should sit a game or two to get that knee right, because it is a meniscus injury.”
Ben Simmons continues to be absent despite arriving ahead of the season. The former rookie of the year was ejected from practice and handed a one-game suspension. Philadelphia 76ers take on the Detroit Pistons next and currently hold a 2-2 record in the 10th spot of the Eastern Conference table.
Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis suffer injuries during contests against Jazz and Spurs respectively