The 2021-22 NBA regular season is about to conclude and the Philadelphia 76ers head into the postseason in high spirits, having thrived throughout the year despite the outside noise the Ben Simmons saga produced.

The Australian's long standoff could have threatened the team's aspirations, as not only the situation was a big talking point for months but it also meant a huge absence for the Sixers. However, it has only fueled Joel Embiid to take his game to the next level.

The Cameroonian, far from decreasing his production, took the challenging situation as an opportunity to improve, put the team on his back and make a strong case for the MVP award. Here's how Embiid strengthened himself against a complicated situation.

Joel Embiid explains how the Ben Simmons saga brought out the best in him

"I just felt like, what are we waiting for?" Embiid told Melissa Rohlin of FOX Sports. "Obviously, that's a big hole that we were missing. But I get paid to deliver. It doesn't matter who is playing or not. If I don't deliver on the court, fans are going to be mad. The front office, they're not going to be happy. So it doesn't matter whatever situation I'm in — I still got to go out there and deliver. I just looked at it like, I've just got to go out there and actually do it and prove it.

"It was extremely frustrating," Embiid added. "It was hard to deal with, but as a competitor, I also like the challenge that was presented in front of me to just go out and see if I could do it, see if I could play extremely well."

He has certainly proven that to himself. Embiid's numbers speak by themselves: he is averaging a career-high 30.2 points per game, along with 11.6 points and 4.2 assists. When the Sixers needed him the most, he rose to the occasion. Now it remains to be seen if that results in a much deserved MVP or, perhaps, in a championship.