By Michael Grimm

If you are a Sixers fan who has been paying attention since Joel Embiid came to Philly six years ago, his physical condition has been an issue.

And this past offseason he got serious:

“[I have to focus on my body] so I’m able to play 20 years here in Philly,” he said two weeks ago.

“That’s the thing I’ve learned the most since I’ve been in the league. It was a short time between the end of this past season and this new season, but it’s a work in progress. You gotta start somewhere, but it’s been going great, and I’m still learning every day.”

On Wednesday night, Embiid dominated in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of the team’s 40 points.

He finished with a team-high of 29 points. He spent more minutes in the game than anybody else on the Sixers with nearly 35 minutes of playing time.Embiid officially put his re-worked body to the test as the Sixers opened up the 2020-2021 NBA season with a matchup against the Washington Wizards. In the first half, Embiid appeared on the court for 16 minutes. Sixers guard Ben Simmons was the only player to see more playing time through two quarters.

While Embiid does keep himself in check and understands playing every game will be a tall task — he won’t allow reality to stray him away from his goals. Each time he suits up for a game, Embiid wants to be available, and at one-hundred percent every time his number gets called. He might miss a game here and there in the process, but as long as he’s healthy and in shape for the postseason, the Sixers have a shot to go far.

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