76ers' Joel Embiid Says He Had 'Bad Game' After Scoring 24 in Return from InjuryApril 4, 2021
Joel Embiid scored 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and swatted three shots in 29 minutes in Saturday's 122-113 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, looking solid in his first game in three weeks after suffering a knee injury.
While most people would be perfectly happy with that stat line at any point—let alone after a three-week layoff—Embiid wasn't satisfied.
"It was a great win, but I had a bad game," Embiid told reporters after the game. "I'm trying to get my rhythm back and just trying to get back in a groove."
Embiid, who was the MVP favorite before he hyperextended his knee March 12 against the Wizards, showed particular rust with his shooting. He finished 6-of-14 from the field overall, missing all four of his three-point attempts, and was an uncharacteristic 12-of-17 from the free-throw line. For the season, Embiid is shooting 40.4 percent from three and 85.2 percent from the free-throw line.
"I thought he played OK. You could see the rust. We turned the ball over a little bit, and we didn't execute very well down the stretch of the game," Sixers coach Doc Rivers said.
Even if Embiid wasn't quite at his MVP-caliber self, the Sixers will be more than happy to have him back in the lineup for the season's stretch run. The 34-15 Sixers are now tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
They'll need Embiid in MVP form sooner than later to clinch home-court advantage.