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Charles Barkley’s criticism of Joel Embiid is unwarranted and unfair

Joel Embiid missed the primary two video games of the Philadelphia 76ers’ second spherical collection towards the Miami Heat within the 2022 NBA Playoffs after suffering a right orbital fracture and a mild concussion. Embiid was already enjoying by way of torn ligaments in his proper thumb within the first spherical towards the Toronto Raptors even earlier than Pascal Siakam’s elbow broke his face within the last minutes of Philly’s decisive Sport 6 win.

The truth that Embiid is enjoying in any respect proper now’s each extremely admirable and doubtless medically silly. When Embiid suffered this exact same injury on the left side of his face in 2018, he missed three weeks earlier than returning within the playoffs. This time, he was solely out for one week earlier than returning to face the Warmth in Sport 3 of the collection.

Philly went down 0-2 to Miami with out Embiid. When he got here again, the Sixers promptly took the following two video games at house. When the groups met for a pivotal Sport 5 in Miami on Tuesday evening, Embiid had a tough evening and so did the Sixers. Miami ran away with a 120-85 victory to take a 3-2 collection lead going again to Philly.

At one level within the first half, Embiid was hit hard in the head by the ball while fighting for a rebound with Dewayne Dedmon. Embiid laid on the ground in ache for a minute or two, however in fact he acquired up and returned to complete the sport.

It’s outstanding that Embiid is enjoying in any respect proper now by way of a damaged orbital bone and torn ligaments in his thumb, to not point out the latest concussion signs. But, when the TNT halftime present began, Charles Barkley criticized Embiid for being too distracted by not successful MVP.

Listed here are Barkley’s feedback:

Joel Embiid is so distracted, for my part, by this MVP factor. He’s not there tonight. He’s acquired six factors, however he’s not being aggressive. He’s throwing the ball away. I’m wondering who on that workforce will say yo man “you the MVP. We all know you’re the MVP. Now exit and show it.” If you end up mad about one thing, it might work each methods. And it’s working the incorrect method for Joel Embiid tonight. He’s so distracted.

Sure, Embiid was having a tough half (he completed the evening with 17 factors on 7-of-12 taking pictures). It simply seems like that may be defined rather more by the accidents than by “being distracted from not successful MVP.”

TNT’s sideline reporter Chris Haynes repeated comparable feedback in the course of the broadcast.

Days earlier, Haynes reported that Embiid couldn’t even take a look at his telephone due to his concussion signs:

If this was some other time of the 12 months, Embiid could be out proper now. There’s little doubt about that. As an alternative, he’s exhibiting unbelievable toughness and resolve simply by taking the ground, and serving to the Sixers climb out of an 0-2 gap to have an actual likelihood on this collection.

Embiid was requested about Nikola Jokic winning his second straight MVP after the sport, and he had a solution ready.

Was his play in Sport 5 actually affected by not successful MVP? That appears extremely onerous to imagine. It’s a baseless declare that additionally reductions what the Miami Warmth protection did in Sport 5.

Former gamers like Barkley must be the one ones who perceive how tough it’s to play by way of a damaged face like Embiid is true now. Shaq famous on the set that nobody goes to really feel unhealthy for Embiid since he’s enjoying, nevertheless it must be the objective of the halftime present to teach viewers on what somebody like Embiid goes by way of simply to take the court docket.

“Contained in the NBA” was in any other case great as all the time:

The criticism of Embiid simply doesn’t maintain water. At the least Barkley was clear that this was simply his opinion. Embiid merely deserves higher than for such feedback to be made to a nationwide viewers when he’s placing his physique on the road and enjoying by way of immense ache for the great his workforce.

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