The Philadelphia 76ers are off to a hot start this season with a 10-4 record and are currently tied for second place in the Eastern Conference. The most important reason the Sixers have had the early season success is due to the play of the reigning Most Valuable Player, Joel Embiid. He has improved his playmaking and is averaging a career-high 6.1 assists per game.
Is Joel Embiid the NBA MVP through the first month of the season?
If he is not the frontrunner, he is most certainly on the MVP shortlist at the moment. Another impressive feat for the Sixers big man has been his consistency. Embiid has played in all 14 games for the team so far this season while playing a career-high 35 minutes per game. During those 14 games, the Sixers have had two instances of back-to-back games and shockingly Embiid has played in all four of those games.
Tonight the Sixers will play their third back-to-back of the season and this time they had to travel to Minnesota for Wednesday’s game after a late night overtime thriller in South Philly on Tuesday. Obviously, with the injury concerns and history of Joel Embiid, playing a career-high in minutes and playing in every game is not sustainable and should be a worry for Sixers fans.
Will Embiid suit up for the Sixers on Wednesday in Minnesota?
Per Shams, Embiid will miss his first game of the season tonight, however, there appears to be an actual injury provided as opposed to just rest. With the new NBA rules around superstars sitting out for rest, this could just be an administrative workaround for the Sixers to rest Embiid, but on the other hand is this “injury” worrisome?
My feelings are this is a preventative measure by the Sixers and they realize the monumental asks they have been seeking from the MVP. The most important thing for the Sixers and Embiid is his health come April and May of 2024, not November 22, 2023. We want our best player to be available when the games matter the most and hopefully, this is an acknowledgment of that by the franchise as opposed to an actual concern in the near term.