Golden State Warriors: Huge watch on status of rival superstar as MVP talks heighten

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers vs Golden State Warriors
NBA: Philadelphia 76ers vs Golden State Warriors / Anadolu/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors will host the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center on Tuesday night, signalling the first of two meetings between the teams over the next fortnight.

The Warriors desperately need a win after back-to-back heartbreaking one-point losses, with the latest coming after double overtime against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. In contrast, the 76ers sit comfortably with a 29-16 record despite three-straight defeats.

All eyes will be on Joel Embiid's fitness when the Philadelphia 76ers travel to play the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday

Philadelphia will enter on the second night of a back-to-back, having suffered a 130-104 blowout loss to the Trail Blazers in Portland on Monday. The 76ers had been incredibly shorthanded playing without their two best players -- reigning MVP Joel Embiid and electric young guard Tyrese Maxey.

Embiid's fitness has been one of the biggest storylines in the league over recent days, with the 29-year-old having controversially missed Saturday's marquee rivalry week matchup against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

Embiid has remained a colossus when on the floor, including an historic 70-point game against the San Antonio Spurs last Monday. However, the 29-year-old's hopes of back-to-back MVPs hangs in the balance, with Embiid only allowed to miss five more games before becoming ineligible to win the award.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers vs Golden State Warriors
NBA: Philadelphia 76ers vs Golden State Warriors / Anadolu/GettyImages

Maxey has also missed the last two games, while Tobias Harris looked rusty in his return from illness against the Trail Blazers. The status of Maxey and Embiid remains undetermined for Tuesday's game, with the pair having combined for nearly 62 points, 15 rebounds and over 12 assists per game this season.

A trio of rotation players remain out for Golden State -- Gary Payton II will miss his 11th-straight game with a hamstring injury, Chris Paul his ninth in a row after suffering a fractured hand, and Moses Moody his seventh following a calf injury.

How the Warriors respond will be fascinating given the starters each played in excess of 41 minutes against the Lakers. While there were positives over the last two outings, there's no more time for honourable losses as Golden State face an uphill battle with a 19-24 record.

Their chances of victory against Philadelphia will swing greatly on the status of Embiid and Maxey. If the luck of this Warrior season is anything to go by, expect the star duo to be raring to go come tip-off on Tuesday night.