Jimmy Butler: Not a statistics or analytics guy, knows that Joel Embiid is the NBA MVP
It’s no secret how much the Sixers are missing Joel Embiid. Last night, the Miami Heat jumped out to a 2-0 series lead against the 76ers following a 119-103 win in South Beach. Jimmy Butler stepped up for the Heat, scoring 22 points while notching 12 rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
Yes, the first two games against the Heat have been extremely frustrating for 76ers fans but the series is far from over. The Miami Heat are the top seed in the Eastern Conference and all things considered, did what they were supposed to do in protecting home court over the first two games.
Then you factor in the fact that the 76ers are playing without Joel Embiid, and it’s clear they were undermanned over the first two games of round two.
Last night during the postgame, Doc Rivers said that he still wasn’t sure of Embiid’s status and that his MVP center still had “so many steps” to clear before returning.
While that’s likely true, I don’t see how Embiid doesn’t return to the court tomorrow night when the series shifts back to Philadelphia.
Embiid’s shooting coach, Drew Hanlen, headed to Philly yesterday, which I think it’s safe to assume he’s coming to ensure a Masked Embiid is ready to play tomorrow night.
Well, either that, or he’s coming to watch Embiid get crowned the 2021-22 NBA MVP, but after a few rumors and deleted tweets yesterday, that doesn’t seem to be the reason.
Jimmy Butler and Eric Spoelstra commented on Joel Embiid and his availability this weekend.
Jimmy Butler: “I’m not a statistics guy or analytics, but I can tell you right now that when he’s on the floor they’re a much better team. Like I said, I want him to get right because we want to play against who I call the MVP.”
Eric Spoelstra: “[Embiid] returning changes the series dramatically. You’re talking about MVP talent.”
Jimmy Butler calls Joel Embiid the MVP
Look, I understand that it’s not ideal digging yourself a 2-0 hole in a seven game playoff series but the fact of the matter remains that no playoff series even really begins until a team wins a game on the road.
The Philadelphia 76ers can return home tomorrow night, ideally with a masked up Joel Embiid, and win the next two games.
From there, you go back to South Beach for Game 5 with the series tied 2-2 and you now have three games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
However, for the Sixers, they can’t look ahead. It’s extremely important to take this series one game at a time and handle business each night.
Getting your MVP center back, will certainly help.