The Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid Says He’s Still Working His Way Back From Covid-19

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After a lengthy battle with COVID-19, Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid stated that “it’s going to take forever” for him to fully bounce back into shape.

In Wednesday’s 88-87 defeat to the Boston Celtics, Embiid had his second consecutive poor shooting effort.

“I would never use it as an excuse, but clearly I believe it’s going to take me a long to come back, particularly legs and cardio and all that stuff,” Embiid said after going 3-for-17 against Boston, bringing his season total to 7-for-33 in Philadelphia’s last two games. “But I have to keep working hard and becoming better every day.”

After scoring 43 points in Philadelphia’s double-overtime defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, seeming as if he hadn’t missed a beat despite missing nearly three weeks due to the virus, Embiid has came tumbling back down to earth in each of the last two games.

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He followed up a 4-for-16 showing against the Orlando Magic at home on Monday with a 3-for-17 performance against the Celtics on Wednesday, as Philadelphia’s entire squad seemed mired in mud at that end of the floor.

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Philadelphia (11-11) shot 37.1 percent overall and 8-for-31 from 3-point range, including a 3-pointer in the corners with 0.1 seconds remaining that was swatted by Celtics big Robert Williams III to preserve the victory.

Neither side could get much going all night, with Boston (12-10) ultimately producing just enough offense to seal the win in the opening game of a brutally challenging month of December that includes 15 games against teams now at or above.500.

Philadelphia is there, with a.500 record, barely over a quarter of the way through the season, a steep drop-off from the 76ers’ 8-2 start before losing Embiid for nine games to COVID-19.

He was also shaking his right (shooting) hand all through the match after it had been hit by Enes Freedom in the first qtr, briefly after Freedom was introduced to a warm reception by the home crowd here during his first game since becoming a U.S. citizen and changing his last name from Kanter to Freedom.

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