Checking in with Joel Embiid
Per Shams Charania, the NBA is currently hoping to resume play on July 31st.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league office informed Board of Governors that July 31 is a target date for return of season, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
While we wait for confirmation, it looks like we finally got a few updates from Joel Embiid on what he’s been up to during the quarantine.
First and foremost:
“I’ve discovered that I’m not that good at video games,” Embiid said to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Marc Zumoff.
Joel Embiid has been actively doing whatever it takes to help assist Philadelphia as we navigate through these strange times. Most recently, he pledged $500,000 to assist with virus antibody testing.
But of course, there’s always questions about Joel Embiid’s health and if he is “game-ready” for when the season resumes. Both Brett Brown and Elton Brand fielded questions about this in their town halls over the past month.
Embiid however, believes that before the season was shut down, he was on a new path and playing at the highest of levels, which is great to hear and definitely true. We all remember what he did to Atlanta:
Embiid celebrates a new career-high 49 points with a Milly Rock (sort of) against the Hawks. #PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/QWVX9mOQkO
— The Liberty Line (@LibertyLinePHL) February 26, 2020
“I feel like before the season got shut down, I was on that path,” Embiid said. “Especially after that All-Star Game, my mentality just completely changed. First part of the season, it wasn’t up to my standards — not even close. I was on that path to just changing all that and making it happen.”
When the Sixers were healthy (which was a rare occasion) they were one of the most dominant teams in the NBA. Once game that stands out was against the Clippers right before the All-Star Break.
Clippers vs Sixers before the NBA All-Star Break gave us the team we hoped for: Embiid 26 pts, 9 reb. Simmons 26 pts, 10 ast, 12 reb. Harris 17 pts, 5 ast, 12 reb. Sixers won 110-103 and Joel Embiid was feeling it on both ends of the court. pic.twitter.com/cZSB1PhKrW
— The Liberty Line (@LibertyLinePHL) April 11, 2020
Another highlight of the season came on Christmas day against the Bucks.
The @Bucks twitter account seems to have forgotten what happened on Christmas. A *healthy* @Sixers team hit 21 3PT shots and beat them 121-109. Here’s a quick reminder: pic.twitter.com/pbJAC325wA
— The Liberty Line (@LibertyLinePHL) April 5, 2020
Elton Brand is confident Embiid will return ready to play. GM Elton Brand said earlier this month that he “wouldn’t bet against” Embiid coming back ready to play. Brett Brown echoed similar praise for Embiid.
I wrote about the comparisons and what the Sixers could learn from The Last Dance. Embiid was also watching. This is important given the fact that the Sixers are built around two young all-stars.
“I did watch it. It was interesting,” Embiid said. “I saw a lot of similarities and a lot of people have told me that. … I can also be that guy, I just need to keep putting in the work and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
The similarities with Jordan/Pippen and Embiid/Simmons are undeniable. I’m glad Sixers players are taking notice.
Ben Simmons looks to be healthy and ready to go when the season resumes again. If the season does in fact return, the Sixers would be slated for a 1st round playoff matchup against the Boston Celtics.
If the NBA resumes straight into the playoffs, a healthy Sixers team would be a tough opponent. The Sixers would play Boston in the 1st Round, a team they beat 3 out of 4 times during the regular season, which included a rare win on the road. pic.twitter.com/kXjNrplH46
— The Liberty Line (@LibertyLinePHL) May 4, 2020