Last night, the Sixers took on the red hot 19-8 LeBron James lead Cavaliers. The Embiid-less Sixers played hard throughout and held the game close until the bitter end. Joel Embiid was held out of the contest due to “load management.” Load Management? Yeah, my thoughts exactly. We know Embiid has not been cleared to play back-to-back nights (yet). BUT! When do we start to question Brett Brown and the Upper Management on the decision of what games Embiid should be held out of? I am in no way saying that any team should be looked passed or down upon.This is sports. Any thing can happen any day. But, I also am not going to act like some teams don’t have more talent than others. The team chose to sit Embiid tonight against arguably one of the best, if not the best, player in the history of the NBA. A game that came down to the final minute of play for the Cavs to put it away. Now, I can’t say for sure the Sixers would’ve gotten the ‘W’ with Embiid on the floor. I can say with 100% certainty that it did not help with Joel not playing. That is where the problem lies. Why sit the biggest piece of your roster against a team who just came off a 13 game win streak? Unfortunately, it is a question we will probably never get an answer to.
The Sixers take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight @ 7p.m. A team who is struggling at a .500 13-13 record. This isn’t the first time this season we have scratched our heads over this issue. A little over a week ago the team decided to play Joel against the Washington Wizards who was without star guard John Wall. Embiid sat the next night, a road game, against the Boston Celtics who currently hold the best record in the NBA (22-5).
Looking forward, we just have to keep our fingers crossed that Joel gets cleared to play back-to-back games sooner rather than later. The Sixers have now fallen to a 13-12 record. Sitting 8th in the Eastern Conference. At the moment it seems as if the Sixers are sitting Embiid in contests they are not favored to win. Why risk the injury? Could be the case, could not be. If that is the situation though….that is a process I just cannot trust.