Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” would be a perfect way to describe the Philadelphia 76ers 2023–24 season. It started out as a dream: Joel Embiid was scoring 30 points without breaking a sweat, the Sixers were 23-10 through their first 33 games, Tyrese Maxey was taking the All-Star leap, and Head Coach Nick Nurse seemed to be exactly what the Sixers were missing.
Unfortunately, that dream turned into a nightmare really quickly when Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga fell onto Embiid’s knee on January 30th. Embiid had been battling knee soreness all season. It was causing him to miss games and miss out on the MVP conversation.
He had been missing games, including being ruled out 15 minutes before tipoff in a game against the Denver Nuggets on January 27th. He played through the soreness against the Warriors, but he was clearly hobbled and did not look like the dominant player he usually is. Now, Embiid is out for at least the next four weeks.
Even with the Embiid news, the Sixers have been in a freefall. They have gone from third in the East to fifth and were blown out by the Dallas Mavericks at home on Monday. The offense looks a lot less fluid without Embiid’s dynamic scoring and teams are selling out to stop Maxey from taking over. The team needs another scorer next to him to take less pressure off of him and more firepower to compete in the East.