Sixers’ Joel Embiid admits he wasn’t feeling like himself in Game 4 loss to Raptors due to illness
Joel Embiid’s status for Game 4 was highly questionable, as the Philadelphia 76ers center dealt with an illness that kept him from displaying his full potential in a close 101-96 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
Following a monster 33-point, 10-rebound, five-block effort in Game 3, Embiid didn’t feel fit to play on Sunday, texting his coach early in the morning to inform him:
“I got a text from him at 6:20 a.m. this morning telling me he didn’t really sleep all night, he really never felt this poorly and, ‘I wasn’t sure, Coach, if I’m going to play.’ That’s how my day started,”said Sixers head coach Brett Brown, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
Embiid told reporters that after a sleepless night, he received IV fluids at 6 a.m. — nearly nine and a half hours before tipoff — which marked the second time in the series he’d need an IV to play. Prior to Game 2, the Sixers’ All-Star center also received fluids to deal with gastroenteritis.
Embiid didn’t look like his usual dominant self, something he openly admitted:
“I’m just not myself,” said Embiid.
Embiid only took seven shots in the game, going 2-of-7 from the field, 0-for-1 on 3-pointers and 7-of-10 from the foul line. The 7-footer still posted an all-around line of 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks — helping him secure a game-best plus-17 plus-minus rating — even after taking fewer shots than any other player in the starting lineup.
Embiid took the loss upon himself, as the series is now tied 2-2 heading back to Toronto:
“I mean, at the end of the day, it’s on me,” Embiid said. “I got to be more aggressive. Today wasn’t the same as [Game 3]. Staying aggressive, especially offensively, I’ve got to help my teammates better. But still on me.”
The pivotal Game 5 is on Tuesday.