Philadelphia 76ers: Get well soon, Joel Embiid the Sixers need you

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

With the Philadelphia 76ers likely to be without their superstar center over the next two games, let’s hope Joel Embiid’s back on the court come Game 5.

“(I’m) f****** sick and tired of being babied”

These words, immortalized forever in a possibly ill-advised Instagram story, rang true to the feelings of a number of Philadelphia 76ers fans as to the team’s overly cautious approach to star center Joel Embiid‘s return to the court.

Just imagine how much more angry fans will be if the Sixers return to South Philly on Tuesday, April 24th if the team loses both of their upcoming games in Miami?

While only time will tell if the 76ers are able to make the adjustments to their game plan needed to steal a win or two at South Beach, one thing is for sure, it’s doubtful that Embiid will be on the court for either game.

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Currently listed as out for Game 3, a status that will more than likely hold up at the 7pm start, the Sixers will have to once again fight it out without Embiid in the paint and while this is unfortunate for his fans, teammates and coaches, I’m sure no one is more upset about his inability to take the court than Embiid himself.

A fiery competitor, Embiid has missed literally hundreds of games to injuries over the first four seasons of his NBA career, having only appeared in 94 professional games, but missing out on the team’s first playoff series in over half a decade must be incredibly hard to stomach. As arguably the league’s greatest showman, Embiid feeds off the energy of a crowd more than seemingly any other player in the league, and without him manning the middle, there’s been a noticeable absence of flair on the court over the last 10 games.

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Given a 2-4 week recovery window on March 30th, getting Embiid back on the court as soon as possible has to be a priority for the Sixers medical staff, but even if he were to dawn the mask and become the Phantom of the Process, is it worth the risk of potential reinjury? Facing off against arch-rival Hassan Whiteside, there will undoubtedly be plenty of physicality in the paint when Embiid returns to the court and given their well-documented history, the Heat may try to use that as an edge moving forward.

And for as great as he is when on the court, the risk of losing Embiid for another month-plus if he were to reinjury his orbital bone may not be a risk worth taking with the series tied at 1-1.

1-3 though, that may be a different story.

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For better or worse, the Philadelphia 76ers are Embiid’s team, and without the 7-foot-tall Cameroonian big man holding down the paint, the team has been without their emotional leader. While we all want to see number 21 kicking it in the paint, let’s hope he’s ready to return to the court when the team returns to South Philly for Game 5 on Tuesday. So get well soon Joel Embiid, the Sixers need you.