Don’t Overthink This 76ers, Rest Joel Embiid and his Knee.
Here we are, back dealing with the same issues when it comes to Joel Embiid, injury issues. Don’t get me wrong, I love our 7-foot Cameroonian more than many things in life. He is truly the embodiment of Philadelphia sports and the only person who can get me through this winter. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t expect injury issues with him this season. Luckily for the 76ers, the issues came early and have a very easy fix.
Looking back at recent history, specifically last season, the timing with Joel Embiid’s knee issues couldn’t have been worse. The first time this cropped up was in the midst of the 76ers hunt for the top seed in the east. Right before the largest road trip of the season for Philly.
Embiid got to rest and the Sixers were able to rattle off a few impressive wins without the then MVP candidate, but then the playoffs came around. The partially torn meniscus couldn’t have came at a worse time, and Embiid suffered through the injury in an attempt to help the Sixers contend for a title, albeit nowhere near 100-percent.
While it isn’t clear the specifics of this knee issue for Joel Embiid, this time around the 76ers have a very easy fix for this situation. Rest the man. We are just four games into a long season, and Joel Embiid should not be pushing himself to play in some of these easy games.
While the rise of the Bulls and Hornets along with the usual top contenders in the East make the conference inherently more competitive, the 76ers really need to suck to miss the playoffs this season. The Sixers can afford to lose games in order to preserve Embiid’s health, so don’t overthink this.
If these reports regarding Embiid’s ability to walk in the two days following Embiid’s injury have weight, he shouldn’t have been allowed to play in every game following the injury. I understand that Embiid is tough and wants to do anything he can to help this team win, but that mindset could lead to him making his knee a bigger problem. Someone has to step in and have him rest a couple games, especially one like tonight’s game against a winless Pistons team dealing with a fair-share of injuries.
Regardless what the specifics of the injury are, the 76ers are lucky in a way that this issue happened so early in the season. It gives them an easy out, to rest the All-NBA caliber center now and save him for the games that really count. I expect the Sixers staff to rest Joel Embiid for easy games against weaker opponents going forward, until we have some more clarity on the knee issue.
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