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UPDATE: There Will Be No MVP Showdown Tonight In Denver After The Sixers Decide To Sit Joel Embiid

Giphy Images.

Well god dammit. 

The internet ink wasn't even dry on my blog from this morning previewing what was set up to be one of the most highly anticipated games of the entire NBA season and now, that dream is dead. 

I'm sorry, but you can't do this whole expose with Shams talking about the MVP, take the shots you did at Jokic in said piece, and then sit out tonight. Especially when the man himself gave this quote

“I feel great. This is the best I’ve felt my whole career, especially this late into the season and going into the playoffs. That’s my focus. I’m ready for a big run.”

I get being precautious about his calf, but that leads me to this question.

Why did Embiid play on a B2B this weekend then? The Sixers lost in GS on Friday and then played in PHX on Saturday. They lost both, Embiid struggled against PHX, and now he sits? If there was concern over this calf injury, maybe don't play a B2B? They're doing it because of the "density of the recent schedule"? What does that even mean? Embiid played just 16 minutes in their 3/22 game vs CHI which was a blowout win. 

I don't want to say this is Embiid "ducking" Jokic, because in situations like this, the team usually overrules the player, but the optics of it sure do suck. The entire basketball world has been looking forward to this meeting since their last matchup, both sides could really use the win, and the MVP is at stake. You know, the thing Embiid won't stop crying over. 

I don't want to say this is Embiid "ducking" Jokic, because in situations like this, the team usually overrules the player, but the optics of it sure do suck. The entire basketball world has been looking forward to this meeting since their last matchup, both sides could really use the win, and the MVP is at stake. You know, the thing Embiid won't stop crying over. 

Again, I'm totally for someone sitting out if they are hurt. The playoffs are too close to fuck around. I get that. But then why is Embiid playing in back to backs just 2 days ago? How does that make any sense? So there wasn't concern on Saturday but there is concern on Monday with this showdown on the horizon? I guess that's possible, it's just disappointing to learn is all. I wanted to see Embiid go for 60. I wanted to see two elite teams battle it out in a game that has a high level of importance for everyone involved.

Looking ahead, I'm sure nobody will overreact if Embiid is back in the lineup on Wednesday against the Mavs. Magically there will no longer be a concern over his calf for that game I imagine. 

The whole thing is such a buzzkill. It's still an important game for both sides, but there's no denying the juice factor just took a gigantic hit. That sucks.