by Alex Poletti
Photo by YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
The Philadelphia 76ers were dealt a blow on Thursday as they were informed that their center Joel Embiid will undergo surgery on a torn radial collateral ligament in his finger, which will force him to miss one to two weeks of play. When asked to comment, 76ers head coach Brett Brown told The Second String that it will be the most consistent one to two weeks of play Embiid will have all season.
“He shows flashes of brilliance,” Brown says of his center, “but he hasn’t been able to produce every night. Sometimes it looks like he’s our best player, sometimes he can’t score a single basket. I’m just glad that for the next two weeks, we know exactly what we’re going to get from him. It’s going to take a lot of pressure off our other guys.”
When everything is going right, the 76ers are one of the most interesting and dynamic teams in the NBA this year. Just a few days ago, they finally ended a four-game skid. This was a completely different team than the one that beat the jewel of the East, the Milwaukee Bucks, on Christmas Day.
“Joel is great at a lot of things, but getting into a rhythm over the course of multiple games isn’t one of them,” Brown continues. “Now that he’ll be forced to ride the bench for two whole weeks, he should learn how to get into the groove. There shouldn’t be any irregular games for him now that his playing time is reduced to zero minutes. I hope the lack of playing time translates on the court when he comes back.”
Embiid was the third overall pick in the 2014 draft, one of the fruits of the famous “Process” era. For the past two seasons, the Cameroon native has been one of the best big men in the game, garnering All-NBA selections both years. Despite his incredible ability, the Kansas alum hasn’t been able to consistently utilize his talents; one low came when he finished a game against the reigning champion Raptors with zero points in over 30 minutes of play.
“I hope Joel can use this as a learning experience,” Brown says. “If he grows as a result of this, it’s a success in my book. Of course, not grow literally. If that kid gains any weight the city of Philadelphia will riot.