Dwight Howard implies the Philadelphia 76ers need to be feared once Joel Embiid comes back from injury this Saturday.
The Philadelphia 76ers underwent one of the best roster revamps this past offseason. Surrounding Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons with shooters like Danny Green and Seth Curry, all while getting rid of Al Horford and Josh Richardson, has worked wonders for them. Not to mention the fact that the Sixers acquired a competent back-up to Embiid in Dwight Howard.
This roster construction resulted in the Sixers holding the number 1 seed out East for the majority of the 2020-21 season. The Brooklyn Nets have taken them over but that could change once Joel Embiid returns from injury this coming Saturday.
Joel Embiid’s MVP caliber season got put to a halt on March 13th after he reportedly hyperextended his left knee against the Washington Wizards. Unfortunately for the Sixers All-Star, this put a wrench in his MVP campaign, an award he was poised to run away with, granted he kept putting ridiculous averages of 29.9 points and 12 rebounds a night.
Dwight Howard says it’s going to get scary for the rest of the league once Joel Embiid returns
Despite being in his 16th year, Dwight Howard has been more than just a serviceable big for the 76ers. In the 17 games the Sixers have played this season without Embiid, Howard has averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds a game, all while shooting 57% from the field.
In his postgame presser following the Sixers win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Howard remarked that the league needs to be on high alert when Embiid returns from injury. “When we add Joel back, it’s going to be lights out.”
The Sixers hold a slightly above-average record of 9-8 in Joel Embiid’s absence this season. Staying above .500 in the games without your best player is always a win for any team.
They also went 4-2 in their most recent road trip, much to Dwight Howard’s delight. “That was a heck of a road trip for us. I think we’re on the other side now. Now our guys don’t care, they just win.”
Assuming Joel puts up similar averages to what he was averaging pre-injury, not only could the Philadelphia 76ers re-claim the first seed, but Embiid could continue his case for MVP. For the latter, however, he would need to suit up for nearly every single regular season left in the Sixers schedule.