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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Joel Embiid pushing through injury due to Ben Simmons situation?

Joel Embiid during a game

Lost in all the drama surrounding Ben Simmons right now is the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers now constantly have to play short-handed without him. That may be having an adverse effect on their other star player.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on Wednesday that Sixers center Joel Embiid told her that he could not walk for two days after injuring his knee in the season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans. Shelburne added that Embiid continues to push through the injury though because he wants to show leadership with Simmons not playing.

The seven-footer Embiid was injured when he knocked knees with Pelicans big man Jonas Valanciunas. He has played in every game for the Sixers since then but is clearly not himself. Embiid is averaging just 18.3 points per game since the injury. He is also settling for jumpers far more often than usual.

Simmons’ continued absence has left Embiid with a much larger load to bear on both offense and defense. Sixers forward Tobias Harris is not a true No. 1 option, while teammates like Danny Green and Seth Curry are clearly more of role players. Embiid has already expressed his displeasure with the Simmons situation. Now that it is forcing him to risk his own health as well, Embiid has another reason to be upset.

Photo: Jan 6, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


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