Sixers Provide Injury Update on Joel Embiid After Game 4

Joel Embiid

Getty Sixers star Joel Embiid left Game 4 against the Wizards with right knee soreness.

Doc Rivers didn’t even know what type of injury Joel Embiid had suffered when he was asked about it immediately after Game 4 on his post-game Zoom call. The Philadelphia 76ers head coach just knew his star player was out for the foreseeable future.

“Middle of the game so I didn’t check, I just knew that he was out,” Rivers told reporters. “I wasn’t even sure what it was.”

The Sixers officially ruled Embiid out with right knee soreness. How long will the MVP candidate be out? No one knows. Rivers said the All-Star center would undergo a precautionary MRI on Tuesday morning, then the medical trainers would provide an update. The championship aspirations of an entire city are hanging in the balance of that test result. No pressure, though.

“I wish I could tell you guys more but I really don’t know,” Rivers said. “I know they’re probably going to do imaging tomorrow just as a precautionary but I don’t know. And they just told me that it is a knee so we’ll know more tomorrow.”

Embiid left Monday night’s game with about 4:43 left in the first quarter after crashing hard on a drive to the basket. There was some incidental contact on the play between him and Robin Lopez but no foul was called.

The 7-footer seemed to injure his right hip before walking off on his own power into the locker room. Embiid finished with eight points and six rebounds in 11 minutes as the Sixers fell 122-114 to Washington in Game 4.

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Bad Officiating Contributes to Sixers Loss

The Sixers had every right to blame the refs in Game 4. They were calling ticky-tack fouls for the home team all night. Ben Simmons had to take an early seat after picking up three early fouls. He had five for the game. Tobias Harris and Dwight Howard also missed key minutes due to loose whistles. They finished with four apiece.

“I thought the foul trouble was more [crippling],” Rivers said. “Obviously losing Joel was number one and then Ben getting into foul trouble as well, those were the two things that hurt us.”

It seemed like the Wizards were getting all the calls and non-calls. For example, Russell Westbrook intentionally tackled Simmons late in the fourth quarter on what looked like a flagrant one. Nope, the refs reviewed it and confirmed it was a common foul.

“For us, I think we lost our cool with the refs too much, the officiating. We got to hoop and it starts on defense,” Simmons said. “There were too many possessions where we weren’t connected or talking on the floor on defense and our defense is huge. That’s how we win games, it affects our offense. So if we weren’t getting stops, not communicating, then we’re not going to be scoring.”

Tyrese Maxey, Furkan Korkmaz Step Up

The bright spots for the Sixers were Tyrese Maxey and Furkan Korkmaz. Both players stepped up in the clutch and nearly completed the series sweep. Maxey reprised his role as the Roadrunner by getting downhill and finishing drives. He finished with 15 points in 22 minutes while going 2-of-3 from three-point range.

“I thought he was great,” Rivers said of Maxey. “He was going downhill, I thought he made some good defensive plays as well. He was involved in rebounding, he really, really showed well tonight.”

Korkmaz wowed on a late fourth-quarter stretch where he knocked down a dagger three, then came up with a steal and scored on an “and-one” opportunity. He finished with seven points in 11 minutes while playing some tight defense on Wizards star Russell Westbrook.

“I thought Furk was absolutely phenomenal for us tonight. Which was great,” Rivers said. “He needed to get going so maybe we can add him to the series now.”

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