Joel Embiid played through the pain barrier last night to lead the Sixers to their 19th win of the season, over the Houston Rockets.
Philadelphia 76ers have had a great start to their 2020-2021 campaign. They have been in tremendous form and are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. Most of their performance has to be given credit to their 7 feet center Joel Embiid. The big man from Cameroon has been putting on a show this season and is in MVP talks.
Although, in the past few weeks, Embiid has been in and out of action due to persisting back issues. Joel Embiid stated that his back pains started after LeBron James hit him with a dirty foul in mid-air.
Previously, Joel had stated how he was treating his back while calling the ailment ‘not alarming’. He said:
“I’m still going back talking to the nutritionists and the people that have been helping me. The goal was to start that, and it’s not gonna happen right away. If I had to give a percentage of how I feel, especially working towards the goal that I have, I wouldn’t even say that I’m at 50%.”
“I still got a long way to go, and it’s gonna take a while. You got to keep on doing the right things. Obviously, as time goes, it keeps on getting better. I just got to keep that mentality of doing the right thing, and I’m sure in the end, it’s going to end up paying off.”
‘I just wanted to get the win’: Joel Embiid and his state of mind despite back problems against Rockets
On Wednesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers hosted a John Wall-led Houston Rockets. During the course of the game, Embiid admitted that the back issues were making him uncomfortable. Despite the problems, he gathered the courage to finish the game.
His efforts didn’t go in vain as the Sixers won 118-113, breaking a three-game losing streak. Even though Joel didn’t feel his best, he had a game-winning performance, scoring a near triple-double. He finished the game with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists.
Embiid didn’t seem to be much worried about his back. He said how he wanted to make sure his team got the win. He said during the postgame interview:
“It was pretty tight. But I just wanted to make sure we got the win and that’s all that matters.”
Joel Embiid on his back: “It was pretty tight, but I just wanted to make sure we got the win.”
Said he wanted to give it a shot in the second half, but ends with, “I’ll be fine.”
— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) February 18, 2021
Joel Embiid has been averaging a staggering 29.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. The Sixers have been a strong team throughout this season, but it is still too early for them to be comfortable.