At the time of writing, the Sixers will be without their star center and NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid for their next 10 games.
With the initial injury timetable of two to three weeks for Embiid set to complete on April 3rd, the Sixers will have to try and maintain the pace without him for the rest of March.
Fortunately for the team and the fans, this may end up better than we expect.
Here is what we can realistically expect from the Sixers without Joel Embiid.
In the first game without Joel Embiid this past weekend, the Sixers were able to absolutely blitz the struggling San Antonio Spurs, handing them the largest margin of defeat in the history of Spurs-Sixers games. With that as a launch point for a team without its best player, the fans should be hopeful for this 10-game stretch.
Another great point for the Sixers should be that during this 10 game stretch, they will only have four games against a team that currently has a winning record. As they showed in the Spurs game, this Sixers team can beat up on struggling teams and therefore do something similar to that against the sub-.500 teams and hold their own against the better teams.
This may not be the brightest point especially for fans, but because the Sixers do currently sit at number one in the East, they have some leeway to lose some games and still maintain course towards an NBA Championship. This is, of course, not saying the Sixers would intentionally lose games, but if they were to lose a given game they would have otherwise won if Embiid played, it would not be the end of the world.
Inversely, the realistic part of “realistic expectations” would have to be that the Sixers cannot be expected to go 10-0 on this stretch without Embiid. There will be some losses, but if they can win more than they lose or go even in these games, the team should be alright. Another factor to watch out for should be the minutes the remaining starters are playing. The starters cannot be playing increasingly large amounts of minutes and risking injury over the course of this 10-game stretch.
This is easier said than done, of course, but if the bench continues its incredible play, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Sixers should be fine during this two to three-week stretch without Joel Embiid, but the fans will need to be prepared if the team does trip up a bit along the way.
Featured Image: NBC Sports Philadelphia