Joel Embiid has struggled with health issues for his entire tenure in the NBA, and specifically in the NBA playoffs, he has been hampered by illness.
His notoriously bad diet could be the cause of it, a new report claims.
The Ringer reported on the difficulties Embiid has had in getting healthy, placing some of the blame on the Philadelphia 76ers big man himself. The report noted that Embiid has never kept himself in peak physical condition in his first few years in the NBA. Landry Shamet, who was a rookie with the Sixers, said he would pick up four cookies-and-cream milkshakes for Embiid on every plane trip when the team went on the road.
Embiid also enjoys nightlife and has allowed his once amazing athleticism to wane from his college days, the report noted. As a result, teams have been able to play to his weaknesses, especially in the playoffs, the report noted.
“The Raptors have been putting him in a lot of pick-and-rolls on defense to get him out of the paint. He could switch screens and stay in front of players at all five positions in college, but he has only shown flashes of that ability in the NBA,” the report noted. “While he will never be as agile as a small-ball center like Draymond Green, he could keep himself in better shape to make extra rotations and not get as worn down over the course of the game.”
Embiid’s health could end up being the roadblock that keeps the Philadelphia 76ers from reaching deep in the NBA playoffs. Embiid was suffering an undisclosed illness prior to Game 5 of the second-round series against the Toronto Raptors, and coach Brett Brown estimated that the center was somewhere around “35 or 40 percent” in the days before the game, PhillyVoice reported.
The report hinted that Joel Embiid may be suffering something stronger than a stomach bug, which was the rumor heading into Game 4. Embiid was heard sneezing in the locker room following the game on Sunday, leading reporters to think he may be suffering from the flu. If true, a respiratory illness could sideline him much longer than a gastrointestinal one, which may hit harder but generally keeps players out for only a few days before making something close to a full recovery.
Joel Embiid is still feeling under the weather. pic.twitter.com/FBK6nmbvui— theScore (@theScore) May 7, 2019
The Philadelphia 76ers had officially listed Joel Embiid as questionable going into Tuesday night’s game. With the teams tied 2-2, any extended absence for Embiid could keep him out for the remainder of the series.