Joel Embiid has teased the Sixers since he was picked third overall in the 2014 draft with the expectation he would become the cornerstone center that would lift the Sixers
What he became instead was a flawed symbol of a so-called ''Process'' that saw a losses-into-lottery methodology leave the organisation as the worst in the NBA. The Liberty Bell crack would seemingly heal quicker than the broken bones in Embiid's right foot. He had surgeries in consecutive years that cost him his first two seasons and relegated his double-doubles to snappy Snapchat and Instagram posts.
The wait for Embiid is over.
He is not only healthy enough to have his minutes bumped to a preseason-high 20 on Saturday night against Detroit, the Sixers have considered backing off their plan of holding him out one game of back-to-back sets. The Sixers first set of consecutive games is Nov. 1 and 2 and they have 17 this season.
''We would have guessed that back-to-backs would have been off the table, that they wouldn't have happened,'' coach Brett Brown said. ''I feel like where we now are at watching him, it's stuff we are completely considering. To say it will happen, I can't say that.''
Embiid caused a scare when he landed awkwardly on his right foot in the first half Saturday, but he played in the second half for the first time in six preseason games and wowed the crowd by faking a spin before a left-handed layup and emphatic first pump for part of his 15 points.
''I like the pressure, I like the responsibility,'' Embiid said.
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