PHILADELPHIA–Joel Embiid made his return on Monday for the Philadelphia 76ers as they were able to come away with a 100-88 win over the Phoenix Suns at home. The big fella had a big game of 33 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in order to lead the way.
However, one could tell that Embiid is going to need some time in order to get his wind back and grow his conditioning level.
On Monday, the Sixers had a system in place in order to let him get off the floor when he needed a break and just reenter the game when he was ready to go.
“I thought he looked good,” said coach Doc Rivers. “We literally told him when you’re tired, signal, come out. When you’re fresh, get up, and come in. The only time I put him in was that last stretch because they were going to make a run and we needed him on the floor. So I thought he was great. You can see early on, I thought he got better as the game went on, but down the stretch he was gassed.”
After the win, Embiid then detailed what has to come next for him as he continues to rebuild his wind and get back to who he was before.
“Keep pushing myself,” he explained. “Just try to get myself out of this sickness and hope for the best, but it’s probably gonna take a while because it really hit me. I’m excited for the challenge. We’re gonna need every single minute to be able to hold down the fort without James (Harden).”
Embiid was able to have a big game on Monday, but he did admit that he has to push through his body aches and be able to find a way to be his productive self out on the floor.
“Just body,” he added. “The body feels shut down, but there’s no excuse. It’s whatever. I’m playing basketball.”
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