Julius Erving Explains How 76ers Cannot Win the Championship Without Joel Embiid

Published 04/11/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Feb 27, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts after a foul call during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


The race to becoming this season’s MVP keeps getting feistier. While initially the top three runners were Joel Embiid, LeBron James, and Nikola Jokic, injuries flipped the scoreboard and Bron and Embiid are now on the fourth and fifth spot instead. However, Embiid just made his comeback after a stellar first half of the season against Oklahoma City.

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Winning this matchup as the lead scorer just proves how much he brings to the table for the Philadelphia 76ers. In fact, legendary Julius Erving feels the same.

How Joel Embiid affects winning

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While LeBron has moved further down in the MVP ladder because of his absence, Embiid has made a huge comeback. Several analysts and fans had dismissed Embiid as an MVP candidate because he had missed games due to a bone bruise on his left knee.

However, his return against Oklahoma City Thunder was more than what we had expected. He ended up finishing the night with 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. The 76ers had started to slack off in victories, but it seems like Embiid is here to get them back on track.

In an interview with Erving on Danny Green’s show, he was asked how Embiid impacts winning. Erving stated, “Certainly, he is a team leader. Without him, even with the team having as much success as it has, I don’t think could get all the way to the mountaintop. Unless some other guys go down on other teams.”

“And you don’t want to bank on that. You want to go through the front door. You want to be at full strength. Getting him rested and healthy,” concluded Julius.

Apr 9, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Joel Embiid (21) is fouled by New Orleans Pelicans center Steven Adams (12) in the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are back on top

For a while there, the Brooklyn Nets had taken over the top spot in the Eastern Conference. However, their loss to the Lakers and the 76ers win against OKC has landed the 76ers back on top, the way they started.

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Unlike the Lakers, who slipped way down in the West in the absence of their superstars, the Philadelphia 76ers could maintain their position. And now that Embiid is also back, their 36-17 record will only improve from here.

Also, Embiid is now third in the MVP race- making his case for the award stronger than ever. Do you see him overtaking Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic?

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Read also- 76ers’ Danny Green Discusses MVP Conversations Around LeBron James, Joel Embiid, and James Harden

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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