Just like a number of players out there, Joel Embiid isn’t a fan of how things are going so far with the NBA’s tough battle against COVID-19. The Philadelphia 76ers have been one of the teams that have been hit hard by the highly contagious virus this season, resulting in short-handed lineups for the past few games.
When asked if he feels that the Sixers should have played their previous games, Embiid was quite frank (via Derek Bodner of The Athletic).
“No. It just seems like every other game keeps getting cancelled, but the league keeps making us play. Especially that Denver (Nuggets) game, when we had to dress an injured player.”
Embiid, on whether he thinks they should have played all these games. “No. It just seems like every other game keeps getting canceled, but the league keeps making us play….Especially that Denver game, when we had to dress an injured player.”
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) January 13, 2021
The Sixers still had to play against the Nuggets since the NBA decided not to postpone the game even if they were clearly undermanned. Due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols, the Sixers were down to just seven players and were forced to put an injured Mike Scott on a uniform just so they could meet the eight-man lineup minimum.
This was certainly not the case for other teams who had players test positive for COVID-19 as the NBA decided to already postpone some games, which Embiid was clearly upset about.
The messy situation though didn’t stop Embiid from putting up monster numbers on Tuesday. The three-time All-Star led an eight-man Sixers unit to a big overtime win over the equally depleted Miami Heat. Embiid played 39 minutes and dropped a season-high of 45 points on top of 16 rebounds, four assists, and five steals.
Though Joel Embiid is surely happy with the win, in his opinion, the NBA has to be better at keeping things consistent to make sure everyone’s safety is prioritized.