Skip to main content

P.J. Tucker Gets Real On Joel Embiid's Injuries: "It’s About Who’s Built For This, Who’s Going To Put The Mask On, Knee Sleeve On, And Icy Hot And Be Like, ‘I’m Going To Give You What I Got.’"

Joel Embiid

With Joel Embiid still recovering from a concussion and orbital fracture, the timetable for his return remains a mystery for now.

But if you ask Miami Heat veteran P.J. Tucker, Embiid's return in the series is not a matter of 'if,' it's a matter of 'when.'

Speaking to Marc Spears of Andscape, Tucker opened up and dropped his thoughts on the star big man's injuries, suggesting that those with a fire to win will usually find a way back to the court.

I heard, but I am not listening to that. Everybody is hurt. I got a strained calf. I got a bum ankle I re-twisted. We can all be questionable for the next game. It’s just the playoffs. It’s about who’s built for this. Who’s going to step up. Who’s going to put the mask on, knee sleeve on, and Icy Hot and be like, ‘I’m going to give you what I got.’ I expect him to play. He’s the MVP of the season.

Embiid is expected back for Game 3, but his head isn't the only part of his body in pain. Against the Raptors, the Cameroon native also suffered a ligament tear in his right thumb.

The worst part about the whole situation is that Embiid suffered his latest injuries in a blowout, series closing win. Even Danny Green couldn't help but question why Embiid was even in the game at that point.

“We saw him on the plane after the game and he was holding his head – it seemed pretty severe,” Green said. “We didn’t know (how bad it was), there were no stitches, I saw a little scratch. But when it happened, he kind of wanted to go back in the game. We’re like, ‘Joel, you can’t go back in the game. We subbed you out and challenged the replay.’ Mind you, we probably should’ve pulled the plug a little earlier. But I mean, it is what it is.”

Down 1-0 in the series, Philadelphia will have to manifest a miracle if they want to avoid falling into a bigger hole before heading back home.

Naturally, the world is looking to James Harden to provide that miracle. Despite his struggles in recent months, Harden is still a 10x All-Star and former league MVP.

It will be up to him to keep the Sixers afloat before Embiid finally returns.