C/O to forbes.com
As we have seen throughout Joel Embiid’s 7 year career, he has dealt with several injuries, which has prevented him from consistently being there for his team. This year he has dealt with back stiffness, but that has not stopped him from playing in 31 of Philadelphia’s 38 games this season. Last Friday, Embiid suffered a bone bruise in his left knee after throwing down a right-handed slam in the third quarter against Washington. On video, the way Embiid landed did not look good, but fortunately he was able to walk off the court under his own power. Embiid is going to be looked at by team doctors in two weeks, to reevaluate the severity of the injury. This is a significant blow to a Philadelphia 76ers team that is first in the Eastern Conference and undefeated in the month of March. Let’s see why.
Embiid this year has been playing outstanding averaging career bests in points (29.9), field goal percentage (.525), 3 point percentage (.422), free throw percentage (.859), and steals (1.2). Embiid has also made an impact on the defensive side of the ball, currently ranked 13th in defensive win shares in front of premier defenders like Paul George, Anthony Davis, and even his teammate Ben Simmons. Embiid just recently passed LeBron James for MVP front-runner after dropping his 4th 40+ point game of the season against the Utah Jazz on March 3rd. Embiid’s consistency throughout the season has also earned him his fourth straight All-Star selection in 7 years, and third as an All-Star starter.
Hopefully, Embiid will be able to come back and continue to prove why he is the best player in the league this year. This stretch where Embiid is out will allow Lebron and Jokic to do some catching up in the MVP voting, but if Embiid returns and continues to play at an MVP level, it is possible that could be the first 76er since Allen Iverson in 2001 to win the NBA MVP award.