Joel Embiid played poorly in Game 5 against the Miami Heat, putting the Philadelphia 76ers on the brink of elimination. Many people who are handsomely compensated for their sports opinions rushed to the nearest available microphone to say Embiid — who has a broken face and messed-up hand — was unable to perform because he was too distracted and depressed after losing the NBA MVP race to Nikola Jokic. A very smart school of thought, no matter what you may have read on The Big Lead.
Any optimism that Embiid could possibly recover and rebound went out the window this morning. Because even if he gets over the MVP snub, he'll have to deal with the fallout and shame of not being included in a Clutch Points graphic showcasing star players from literally every remaining playoff team except the Sixers. Yet another crushing blow sure to send the center into a deeper spiral.
At this point, it doesn't even seem worth playing the game. There is simply no way that Embiid, one of the top three players in basketball, could possibly show out tonight. There is simply no way that he'll be ready to produce a mere 10 hours after this graphic dropped. Such indignity would send even the most steeled psyche into complete disarray.