MVP of Joel Embid-Caliber season could collapse tonight if it fails to lead its Philadelphia 76ers to victory over the Miami Heat. If Philly is sent back to the semifinals, it will be the fourth time in five years. Two things are clear about Embiid’s situation in Philadelphia:
1.) The story of Embiid changes from him as a great player who rises to a great player who can’t do it in big moments.
2.) A person simply cannot take a break with alleged star teammates who do not produce and the frequent injuries that make him miss a significant amount of time each year.
This story is the easiest part to change for Joel, as he can make the most of it by winning. This is Embiid’s sixth season in the NBA (he missed his first two years due to injuries) and is yet to reach the conference finals. As the best player in the series against Miami, Embiid and Sixers were expected by many to deal with Miami fairly quickly. This was not the case. Embid was injured, missed the first two games, then returned for the third and fourth games and plays welland Philly managed to equalize the series in two games.
Then the 5th game happened. It was a game in which Embid and Philly could break the spirit of Miami and take three consecutive games in the series, plus a victory on Heath’s home court. Instead, the Sixers looked like a flat tire and lost 35 points. Embid was the top scorer for Philadelphia with 17 great points. I know it’s not 100 percentbut when is Joel Embiid completely healthy? And this is not the first time that Embid has a chance to establish himself among the best superstars and the league and he failed.
In March, the Sixers played a game against the Bucks, where Embiid was great against Giannis Antetokounmpo, scoring 29 points, making 14 rebounds and seven assists. Then he came winning time. With seconds left until the end of the game, Embiid had the opportunity to send the game into overtime by scoring, but instead chose to postpone and his shot was eaten by Janice. This game was in full swing for the MVP and Embiid was able to make a mark on the race.
Two weeks earlier, the Sixers had played another game in which Embeid could hoist his MVP flag against eventual winners Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. Joel played well, scoring 34 points and nine rebounds, but Denver won a close match 114-110. Embiid says that the chances are against him winning the MVP in the last few years, but when he has the opportunity to show the voters, he does not take advantage. Two significant victories in the last month of the season against the two players with whom Embiid fought for the MVP would go a long way for his MVP case.
His But Embiid has not yet won an MVP and is on the verge of elimination in the second round. Although Jokic has won consecutive MVP awards, there are still a group of people who consider Embiid to be the best center in the game. Jokic is taking part in the conference finals in his autobiography. I don’t care if it happened in the Orlando balloon. Embiid and his Sixers were rejected in the first round in the same bubble. And we know what Janice has done to change her story over the last two years. He led his team to the finals and won.
So it can be done. Joel can completely reverse the story and he starts by staying alive against the heat and transferring the series to Game 7. Game 7 is where the stars shine brightest. If Embiid really longs for superstar status, then he must reach the conference finals. Apologies and shifting blame will not diminish it any time soon. And there was a lot of that for and from Embiid.
For years, the excuse was the trust of the Trial, for which Sam Hinkey took the blame (rightly) even after he was gone. The team was young and at least entered the playoffs, so Embiid got a pass. It was Ben Simmons then, and he would ever do it live of its potential.
After game 7 against Atlanta last postseason, Embiid pointed out Simmons. But anyway, this series didn’t have to boil down to this situation in Game 7. Once again, Embiid was released from the hook and allowed to blame someone else.
If the 76ers lose to Heath, this time it will be James Harden’s fault, right? It’s Harden like hell from his previous self, he could never be trusted in the postseason anyway. Or maybe he’ll turn on Doc Rivers and throw his coach under the bus if they’re eliminated from Miami.
No more apologies.
It’s time for Embid to throw this team on his back and wear them like the superstar he aspires to be. Harden certainly won’t, and Rivers can only do so much on the sidelines. Joel’s superstar status is at stake in these playoffs. It is up to Embiid to understand how this story is played out.