The Philadelphia 76ers did lose last night at Wells Fargo Center against the Wolves (120-121) after two overtime periods, achieving a delicate beginning of NBA season with ten victories and ten defeats, just like their contender of the night. Ranking at a disappointing eleventh place in the Eastern Conference, the team of Doc Rivers has reasons to be relieved still.
After nine games missed due to Covid-19, Cameroonian center Joel Embiid was making his return yesterday evening for Philly. Still in pain and finding some difficulties to find his breath in the training sessions the day before, Embiid played as if nothing had changed and had 45 minutes for 42 points and 14 rebounds. Even though all ended up with a defeat, the performance of the All-Star center must be underlined after weeks of illness where he suffered heavy headaches and difficulty in breathing.
In his absence, Philadelphia mostly got beaten (eight defeats out of the last ten games) and Ben Simmons’s case was not to make things easier. Embiid’s return should enable the Pennsylvania franchise to win some ranks in an Eastern Conference that is dominated by the Brooklyn Nets of Kevin Durant and James Harden right now (70% of victory rate).
With players like Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond, the Sixers do have the solutions to surround Joel Embiid in the best possible way. And they are not the only top team to have a hard time, if you take a look at the Lakers who managed to take 141 points at Staples Center this week against the Sacramento Kings, or the Boston Celtics who currently rank tenth in the East…
The next game against the Orlando Magic is a must win for Philly. An opportunity to make a fresh start against a team that won only four games this season.