The Process Hinges on Embiid, and He Will Be Fine

We are in a rough couple of months where there is really nothing to talk about because the Eagles, Sixers, and Flyers are all in the middle of their off seasons getting ready for their respective training camps.

Yes, I know the Phillies are in the middle of their season but baseball does not begin to get really interesting for another month when playoff races start to pick up. Lucky for us, we won’t have to worry about that.

The 76’ers have still remained the talk of the town all year especially since the team drafted Fultz to be the team’s franchise PG. Even with Fultz, Ben Simmons, and Dario Saric, the process still revolves around the health of Joel Embiid.

The Talent

Joe Embiid was the surefire first overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft until a surgery days before the draft caused him to fall to the Sixers at 3. After red-shirting his first year, Embiid played 31 games his second season before needing another surgery, but those 31 games were special. Look at these highlights from this past season, very striking resemblance of Hakeem Olajuwon.

*sample size limited*

embiid 2

The Injuries

After missing the NCAA tournament due to a stress fracture in his back, his one and done college career was over, Embiid was ready for the draft. Injuries followed him. Days before the draft, Joel underwent surgery on a broken navicular bone in his right foot and was initially ruled out for up to 6 months. After being drafted, it was determined unlikely he would play at all during the ’14-’15 season because of the broken bone. After his first season, he suffered a setback because the bone did not heal as quickly as the doctors anticipated which put the ’15-’16 season in jeopardy. After more surgery during August of 2015, the chances were “slim” that he would play his second season at all, obviously he did not. Now we are at his third season as a pro, the long-long awaited debut of Embiid is finally going to happen. After playing through the preseason and regular season on minute-restrictions, after 31 games, Embiid had a torn meniscus which ended his season right before the all-star break. On March of 2017, Embiid underwent SUCCESSFUL arthroscopic surgery. Even after playing only 31 games, all on minute-restrictions,  he was still named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and was also in the running for Rookie of the Year.

The Hope

There is a lot to be worried about here obviously, in 3 seasons he has only played 31 games and has had countless surgeries. The good news is that none of the injuries appear to be chronic. The only injury that had me worried was the stress fracture in his back that he suffered in college because that could be a recurring injury especially for someone the size of Embiid. The Sixers have really exercised their patience with Embiid, giving each bone that chance to fully heal 100% greatly reducing the chance of reinjury. The sample size on Embiid is very limited but he has given us every reason to believe this is a generational talent. We are talking about someone who is 7’2, with a massive frame, who can score from anywhere on the court, even the 3-point line.

The Process

Now with a roster loaded with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, JJ Redick, Robert Covington, Markelle Fultz. TJ McConnell, and for some reason Jahlil Okafor, the team can make the playoffs this year. With a fully rested and (hopefully) fully healed roster, our patience will be rewarded. The East is abysmal, the road to the playoffs is not the most difficult thing. Now it is time to put our trust in Brett Brown and the rest of the coaching staff and pray to God that they know what the hell they are doing.

embiid 3

Side note: Regardless of how the roster looks, if Lebron James wants to sign here, you do everything to make it happen. I have seen too many people say they would rather not in a championship than win one with Lebron *cough* *cough* Spike Eskin *cough* *cough*

-Richie Wielgus

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