Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid injured his right wrist in Game 3 after a hard dunk in the third quarter. He wore a soft brace to his post-game press conference while telling reporters he was fine. Embiid had the same protective covering on it during Friday’s practice, but there is no way he’s missing Game 4.
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers confirmed Embiid was good to go, adding that he went through all the drills with few limitations. The 7-footer was shooting free throws with his left hand — Embiid is right-handed — at one point during practice.
“He’s good. We did a lot of stuff [today in practice],” Rivers said, via The Inquirer’s Gina Mizell. “We just don’t want anybody to hit his arm, his hand, and all that. But he was fine.”
UPDATE: Embiid has a torn ligament in his right thumb, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Sixers’ big man vowed to play through the pain while relying on the team’s medical staff to treat it.
The Sixers enter Saturday’s contest with a chance to sweep the Toronto Raptors on their home floor. He already promised famed Candian rapper Drake he would take care of business, so sitting out the game isn’t an option. Embiid is averaging 27.7 points and 13.0 rebounds in 39.3 minutes per game in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. His goal is to win a championship this year, no matter how much pain he’s in.
The Sixers and Raptors aren’t required to submit their injury reports until Saturday morning. The only Philly player expected to be out is Matisse Thybulle (not fully vaccinated). Scottie Barnes (ankle) is the only name to watch for Toronto after he missed Game 2 and Game 3.
The latest Sixers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Sixers newsletter here!
Embiid: ‘Trying to Win the Whole Thing’
Embiid was asked if beating the Raptors — the team that ousted the Sixers in 2019 — felt like a rite of passage, kind of like Michael Jordan leading the Chicago Bulls past the Detroit Pistons in 1991.
“Nah, it’s only the first round,” Embiid said when asked if the Raptors were his Pistons. “Once I get past the second round, yeah, I can start feeling that way and then you start thinking about what’s to come next after the second round, the Conference Finals, and obviously the NBA Finals and winning the whole thing. So it’s just the first round to me, honestly, I really haven’t thought about what happened three years ago.
“Obviously, the shot [Embiid’s game-winner in Game 3] makes me feel good about what kind of happened [in 2019] but during this whole series, I really haven’t thought about coming in here and trying to get my revenge. I think I’m more focused about trying to win the whole thing, one game at a time, and do whatever is necessary to get us there.”
Tobias Harris Screen Deemed Legal
Raptors fans were screaming to the high heavens about the screen set by Tobias Harris to free up Embiid for the game-winning shot on Wednesday. Some claimed Harris was moving and extended his arms to block Precious Achiuwa out of the way.
Well, the league office reviewed it and determined it was indeed a legal screen. The L2M report commented: “Harris (PHI) makes marginal contact with Achiuwa (TOR) during the screen attempt.” Case closed.