Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid undergoes MRI after knee injury against Warriorsduring the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's game.
The injury occurred with 4:04 remaining in the game when the Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga and Draymond Green double-teamed Embiid. Kuminga poked the ball away and in the process, fell on top of Embiid's knee.
Embiid, in visible pain, grabbed his knee and subsequently limped to the locker room, ultimately not returning to the game. This comes after Embiid had missed the previous two games due to knee soreness in the same knee. Despite being listed as questionable, Embiid expressed feeling good and was cleared medically to play.
Coach Nick Nurse explained that Tuesday's injury is "kind of unrelated to what's been bothering" Embiid, emphasizing the need to wait for further evaluation.
Throughout the game, Embiid showed signs of not playing at 100 percent, with reduced lift during defensive plays and a cautious approach on offense.
Embiid's recent string of injuries raises concerns about his eligibility for postseason awards, including All-NBA team honors and MVP. The NBA's new rule requires a minimum of 65 games to qualify, and Embiid can only miss five more games before becoming ineligible.
Questions arise about the influence of the 65-game rule on the decision to let Embiid play. Coach Nurse mentioned that the medical team cleared Embiid, and the decision was based on regular checks, medical assessments, and Embiid's assurance of feeling good. The 76ers face challenges with a recent losing streak and injuries to key players.
Embiid's injury may impact his standing in the MVP race, jeopardizing his chances before the All-Star break. Teammates express disapproval of the pressure the league's new rule may put on players to play through injuries.
The 76ers' locker room discusses the scrutiny and pressure associated with the league's 65-game rule. Team members, including Paul Reed and Kelly Oubre, express concerns about the rule adding pressure to players, especially those aspiring for MVP honors.
Teammate Oubre highlights the pressure on Embiid to perform at his best despite physical challenges, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing Embiid's well-being over awards. The injury has led to questions about the rule's impact on player health and decision-making.
Embiid will miss the next game against the Utah Jazz, and further evaluation will determine the extent of the injury. The MRI results will provide clarity on the severity of the knee issue and its implications for Embiid's availability in the coming games.
In summary, Joel Embiid's knee injury raises significant concerns for the Philadelphia 76ers, impacting their performance and the star player's aspirations for postseason awards.
The league's new rule adds complexity to the decision-making process, with a focus on balancing player health and competitive considerations.