The Philadelphia 76ers are off to a terrific start to the 2020-21 season where they have had to battle through a slew of injuries as well as the league’s health and safety protocols regarding COVID. The Sixers are sitting at the top of the East with a 12-6 record and Joel Embiid is having a terrific season.
He is averaging 27.7 points and he has lifted the Sixers on his broad shoulders on most nights to make sure they pick up some wins. The team is also 0-4 when he does not play with the latest loss coming on Monday to the then-East worst Detroit Pistons.
Embiid has certainly built up an MVP case, but ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith questions his candidacy due to the lack of quality wins the Sixers have on the season.
When we look at Joel Embiid and you see the offensive arsenal that he has in his display, the perimeter shooting, his back to the basket, facing the basket, putting the ball on the floor, shoot 3s. All of his other stuff, it’s on another level… I must tell you who the hell have the Sixers beaten? Miami’s struggling with a slew of injuries. The Toronto Raptors ain’t what they should have been. The Washington Wizard, don’t get me started. The Orlando Magic these are teams that they beaten here. The two victories that they had back-to-back against the Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum didn’t play those games, and that’s basically the only above 500 team they be in that spot. I’m not disrespect ing Philadelphia 76ers. I believe in them. I believe they are title contenders…If you look at the level of competition they’ve been going against thus far, it’s pretty suspect. That has a lot to do with how they’re 12-6 right now.
Smith does have a point, the Sixers do not have too many quality wins, but at the same time, they just have to play who’s on their schedule. Embiid has been absolutely terrific when out on the floor and Dwight Howard has struggled as the starter when he fills in for the big fella on nights that he can’t play.
Embiid and the Sixers will have a chance for a statement win on Wednesday when they take on LeBron James and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers at 7:30 p.m. EST.
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