By Mark Gallagher
Sixers coach Brett Brown said yesterday he’s very proud of Joel Embiid, who has put in a lot of work — six days a week — during the NBA hiatus to get into the best shape possible.
“Let’s start with the respect and applause I give him for putting in time. There is nobody on our team that has put in more time than Joel Embiid,” Brown said yesterday at the Camden facility.
“Forget what he has actually done in the gym for a minute, just go to the man-hours and consecutive days and the amount of days he has put in over the past few months. I’m proud of him, I respect him. He needed to do it, we understand the impact he can have on our team.”
Embiid was averaging 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 44 contests for the Sixers before games were suspended in March. Philly has lost in the second round of the playoffs in the last two postseasons, so Embiid and Co. are certainly motivated to go on a deep playoff run once the 2020 postseason starts.
The Sixers’ eight seeding games have them facing the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets. Philly’s first game is on August 1 against the Pacers.
Once the 2020 playoffs begin, the Sixers will ultimately go as far as Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Al Horford can guide them. Most pundits believe if the team doesn’t go on a long postseason run, Embiid or Simmons will be traded and Brown will be fired.