CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is having another incredible season. The reigning league MVP is averaging 35.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists while shooting 53.6% from the floor.
Those numbers should have him on pace to win his second consecutive MVP award, but due to the league’s player participation policy, there is a slight chance that Embiid could not even qualify for the award.
Embiid has already missed 10 games on the season. He can’t miss more than seven games in the final 41 in order to qualify. He has to play in at least 65 games which is the threshold the league has established.
One might consider that not fair to Embiid if he happens to not reach that games played threshold, but coach Nick Nurse wants to see how things play out before he judges the new policy or things of that nature.
“The only time I ever give it any thought is when you ask me about it,” said Nurse. “Again, I don’t think fair—it’s the first year of us doing this. I think we just got to kind of have to—before we speculate on what it looks like, we gotta get there. We got to see where we are what happens and what decisions are made. See if he’s played, you know?”
With that being said, the goal for Embiid and the Sixers is to get the playoffs healthy. That’s the only thing that matters at this point in time. Philadelphia needs a healthy Embiid if they want to do anything in the playoffs and Nurse knows it. That’s why he’s happy with what he’s seen from his star big man.
“I’m just happy that I think he’s playing well and getting better,” Nurse finished. “I think that he’s really in tune, focused, and he wants his team to get better and to win. I think from an overall standpoint, we’re really happy with where his conditioning, his body, and all that stuff is, and that’s all I probably think about. Just keep managing that as we go.”
Embiid and the Sixers are the No. 3 seed in the East as they head into the second half of the season.