Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been struggling in the early portion of tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers, and it looks like a lingering injury could be to blame.
Despite having been questionable for tonight’s game against the Pacers with what was reported as back tightness, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to give Embiid the start.
Embiid got off slowly, going 0-for-3 on field goals to start the game and needing to rest on the baseline for a good portion of the first quarter.
He returned just before the end of the first quarter and got his first points of the night on a layup.
Joel Embiid, who went 0-3 in his first six minutes tonight, is now sitting on a foam roller on the baseline, rather than a seat on the bench. Embiid was questionable with back tightness, and looked to favor it at times pregame.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 18, 2019
Embiid has been vital for the 76ers as they’ve raced out to a 29-16 start, and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
He earned his first All-Star selection in the 2017-18 season en route to a 52-30 record and a playoff run that culminated in the Conference Semi-Finals.
However, Embiid’s numbers in the 2018-19 season have surpassed even his All-Star numbers from last season.
He leads the team with 27.0 points per game, 13.3 rebounds per game, and 8.0 successful free throws per game. He is third on the team in assists with 3.4 per game. All of those are career-highs for the 24-year-old former Kansas star.