How Joel Embiid is doing what he’s doing for the Sixers with a partial tear in his meniscus is teetering on being unexplainable. It’s almost as if the Philadelphia 76ers all-star is playing better since the injury while he deals with it at the same time.
In Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, Embiid poured in 40 points and 13 rebounds in the Sixers’ 118-102 win over Atlanta. Afterwards, head coach Doc Rivers made quite the comparison when analyzing what his all-star had just done.
Via NBC Sports Philadelphia, Rivers made a comparison to another matchup he saw up close and personal from his playing days.
“It was awesome,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if the MVP thing did anything to him or not. I remember being on the other side of the night that David Robinson got the MVP and we had to play Olajuwon when I was on that Spurs team. That didn’t go well for us. Tonight, you felt like that was Joel. He was that magnificent, dominant for us early on. But it was absolutely a team effort. I just thought he set the tone for us. And that’s what he has to do, obviously.” – Doc Rivers.
The “MVP thing” Rivers speaks of is that earlier on Tuesday, the league announced Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets had beaten out the Sixers’ center and others in winning the MVP award. Not only that, he ran away with it once the voting results were released.
Embiid and the Sixers will try to dial in the same intensity they had in Game 2 when they take to the court back in Atlanta in Game 3. Perhaps Embiid will have another Olajuwon like performance.