Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid continues to impress out on the floor even when he’s not feeling his best. The big fella is dealing with a calf issue, but he still went out and had a huge effort against the Golden State Warriors on the road.
The Sixers came up short 120-112 to the defending champions, but Embiid once again dominated. Despite dealing with mild calf tightness, the big fella had 46 points on 13-for-23 shooting, he was 19-for-22 from the foul line, and he had nine rebounds and eight assists in the loss.
Afterward, the MVP candidate gave an update on his health and how his calf feels. Embiid did play 37:49 and with now nine games left before the playoffs, that is what’s most important.
“It’s okay, a little sore but whatever got to keep managing it to see how it feels tomorrow and you know the next few days,” Embiid told reporters. “It’s all about making sure I’m healthy for playoffs so whatever gets me there healthy, that’s what we are going to do.”
It can be tough for somebody like Embiid who is dealing with this calf issue have to score so much on offense and then do a lot on the defensive end as well. Considering how short-handed the Sixers were on Friday, he didn’t have much of a choice.
“It’s tough when you got to do a lot offensively, and then defensively you also got to do a lot, whether it’s protecting the rim, edging and helping all over the place, especially against a team at that end that moves the ball, that makes your defense get in rotations all the time it’s tough but that’s my job and I love it,” Embiid added. “Tonight could have been better, but we kinda went away from what was working at the start.”
When Embiid went to the bench to start the fourth quarter, the Sixers led by nine. When he re-entered at the 8:26 mark, the Warriors had cut the lead down to two. He helped right the ship a bit to help Philadelphia get back on track, but it wasn’t enough.
“When I came back in the fourth quarter, I didn’t go get the ball as much as I did when I can back in so that’s on me,” he finished. “Defensively I wasn’t as good as I should have been.”
The Sixers will continue the road trip on Saturday when they take on the Phoenix Suns.