Joel Embiid’s injury was completely avoidable, and it could be costly for the 76ers to race | Opinion 2022-04-30 18:12:07


Philadelphia Joel Embiid he is Indefinitely with injuryand the Sixers“The best player in the final didn’t have any business with the injury in the first place.

Embiid shouldn’t be on the field late in the fourth quarter with the Sixers lifting 29 against Toronto and about to Eliminate Raptors in Game 6 Thursday.

But Embiid was in the game, had a right orbital fracture and a concussion trying to defend Pascal Siakamand available in the Eastern Conference semi-finals for Sixers vs. Miami Heat in danger.

Sixers coach Doc Rivers could defend his three losses in the series when his team was leading 3-1. He can’t defend Embiid being on the field ahead of the Sixers 119-90 with 3:58 left in the fourth quarter.

He tried on Saturday, telling reporters, “I’m not upset with him being involved. You can make this a big deal if you want. But just look at every team, every game, and their guys are there until about the four or three minute mark. That’s what it is.”

Embiid is already dealing with a torn right thumb ligament. His health is critical to the Sixers’ success, and their chance of winning the East and reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 2001 depends on Embiid.

Embiid had 33 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two grabs, and by the time there were four minutes left in the match, Embiid should have been sitting on the bench, enjoying the end of a winning streak and preparing for the post-match encounter.

The Sixers led 110-84 with 7:29 remaining in the fourth inning, and there were plenty of layovers between then and four minutes left to knock Embiid out of the game.

Not many NBA players are safe, and teams in this post-season overcame a 20-point deficit to win the game. But this was different.

76 withdrew from behind in the third game and 99-78 headed in fourth place. Keep building on that lead, playing the Raptors without the All-Stars Fred Vanfleet, We finished. They had none, and until 115-90 with five minutes remaining, the Raptors were clearly not back, and at the very least, Rivers should have replaced Embiid with 4:48 left when Pascal Siakam picked his fourth foul.

Most of those watching the match knew it was over.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the Raptors rounded up late in the game and cut a 25-point lead to 15 that, had Rivers removed Embiid from the game, he could have made him back in the game. And if Rivers is concerned about taking the lead against battered raptors, that’s worrisome, too.

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There is already pressure on the Sixers and Rivers. They have not reached the conference finals since 2001. In the past five seasons, they have lost in the first round twice and the conference semi-finals three times.

Philadelphia got the MVP season from Embiid and tacked it James Harden On the trade deadline. Even in the Deep East, especially at the top of the conference, the Sixers saw a slightly more open championship window. Now, I closed a little more.

While The Heat was a small front-runner, it was expected to be a close competitive series, and no one would have been surprised if the Sixers had won.

Winning the series without Embiid even for part of it becomes a much more difficult task. During the regular season, the Sixers scored 115.6 points and allowed 107.8 points per 100 possessions with Embiid on the field. When Embiid wasn’t playing, the Sixers scored 107.3 points and allowed 110.8 points per 100 possessions – a big swing in the net rating of over 10 points per 100 possessions.

This is what happens when one of the best two-way league players is knocked out of the game.

The Sixers are already skinny deep in the front court, and this gives Heat Bam Adebayo center an opportunity to be more effective and versatile in defense.

And the situation could have been avoided, too, had Rivers not had the best player on the field in a blast with more important matches to come.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joel Embiid’s injury could have been avoided, and 76 could have paid the price