Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is one of the best players in the game regardless of position. The things that he can do on the basketball court at his size are impressive and he continues to get better.
After a slow start to the season, for his lofty standards at least, Embiid is averaging 33.3 points which leads the league. If he can maintain his current play, he would lead the league in scoring for a second consecutive year as he continues to build up his legacy in the NBA.
With that being said, Embiid is dealing with right calf tightness at the moment. It hasn’t kept him out of games just yet as he has played in the last two games after suffering the injury on March 22, but he also wants to be sure that he is at his best for when the playoffs roll around.
The big fella sat down with Shams Charania of The Athletic and he discussed how he feels at the moment despite the injury as he prepares for the postseason:
I feel great. This is the best I’ve felt my whole career, especially this late into the season and going into the playoffs. That’s my focus. I’m ready for a big run. I think (we) got the right guys, so it’s all about us coming together and showing up and everybody doing their job.
Embiid also is in the MVP race for the third straight season. After finishing as a runner-up to Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic for the previous two seasons, he is the odds-on favorite to win in 2023.
However, he told Charania that he isn’t worried about it and his focus is on the playoffs:
People always thought that I was crazy when I said this — I really believe that I’m not well-liked. And it’s cool with me, that’s fine. I’ll be the bad guy. I like being the a–hole anyway. I like being the underdog. So that’s fine with me. My thing is, when I leave the game of basketball, I want to make sure that people looked at me as … it’s hard to be the greatest ever because you’ve got to win a bunch of championships and not everyone is lucky to do it because only one team can win and you have to have the right pieces around you … but when I leave the game, I want to make sure that they say: No one was stopping him offensively and defensively, and he was a monster.
Embiid and the Sixers have eight games left before the postseason begins and that will be the real test for him and his team. They have their eyes set on a championship and Philadelphia will need him at his best in order to get it done.