By Erik Chambliss

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — During every year of Joel Embiid’s career, there is one question on Sixers fans’ minds: what will the Sixers do when Embiid is not on the floor? Now, after signing veteran Al Horford, it seems that those questions can be put to rest.

Just two weeks into this NBA season, we already saw in three games what the Sixers can do without their All-Star center on the floor as they managed to stay at the top of the league with a 5-1 record.

This is due to who has been filling in for Embiid.

For years Philadelphia fans dreaded seeing Horford sprinting down the court, scoring in the post and hitting dagger three-pointers for the Boston Celtics. But in 2019, we can’t get enough of No. 42 in a Sixer uniform.

In the early stages of the season, Horford is averaging 18.8 points and 7.7 rebounds, along with just over a block per game. These numbers are pretty comparable to Embiid’s 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks.

Those numbers are just a glimpse at the impact Big Al has had on this team during his short time in Philadelphia.

In just six games with Horford, the Sixers are a plus-12.6 with him on the floor and a minus-5.2 without him.

In the past two games, Horford’s unique skill set has been on full display. Against the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns, he combined to score 57 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, and three blocks in 65 minutes. This included two huge three-pointers as time expired against the Suns.

“For the last couple of games, obviously with Joel being out, I felt like I’ve had to step up a little more, be more aggressive and look to score,” Horford said after Monday’s game.

And don’t forget about the thunderous game-tying slam on Monday.

Needless to say, fans will not have to be as worried when Embiid misses games due to load management or other reasons with the 32-year-old filling his spot in a big way.

Erik Chambliss