The fun was short-lived for the Philadelphia 76ers following their first-round win over the Toronto Raptors. Less than 24 hours after their dominant win in Game 6, news surfaced that MVP finalist Joel Embiid suffered an orbital fracture and mild concussion after taking a shoulder to the face from Pascal Siakam.
Embiid will be listed as out heading into the Sixers’ series with the Miami Heat, and there is no timetable for his return. An undesirable outcome for a team looking to fulfill its championship aspirations.
With a few days to spare before heading to Miami, the Sixers are getting some practice time in to prepare for the upcoming matchup. After things concluded, Doc Rivers fielded questions from the media. While things are looking bleak right now, he is trying to remain optimistic.
“I don’t know if you make up for it, but you figure out how. It‘s a tough injury. The good news, I guess, is he’s had it before. The bad news, there’s just no timeline for when he’s coming back.” According to USA Today.
Sixers Embracing Next Man Up Mentality
Replacing the production of Embiid is a daunting task. He is one of the league’s most dominant forces and the focal point of the Sixers’ offense. Nevertheless, they will have to find a way to weather the storm until he can possibly return.
If the Sixers are going to remain competitive, it will take a collective effort. No one player can fill the void he will be leaving on the court. Being such a tight-knit group, the Sixers are preparing to go to battle with their leader. Tobias Harris touched on the team’s togetherness as they gear up for a shorthanded matchup in Miami.
“Obviously, tough news to take, but we just as a group, we want him to get healthy and better. Whenever that is, we’ll be ready, but at the end of the day, for us, it’s a next man up mentality and just being locked in of the game plan. We just gotta figure it out. This has been a resilient group all year so nothing has changed in that regard so we’ll prepare the same way and we’ll wait for big fella to get whatever he needs to get back to where he needs to be.” According to USA Today.
All Hope Is Not Lost Yet
A series with the Heat was already going to be tough for the Sixers, let alone having to move forward without Embiid. This news certainly has some feeling heartbroken, but all hope should not be lost yet. Recent news surfaced that leaves a small window of opportunity to make a triumphant return later in the series.
At a time where things look bleak for the Sixers, this update creates some optimism in regards to the situation.
One thing about Embiid is he is extremely determined. Throughout all the ups and downs of this season, he remained focused on his ultimate goal of winning a championship. Even when he suffered a thumb injury on his shooting hand, he stated he had no intentions of sitting on the sidelines. No matter what it takes, he will surely do whatever is needed to get back in the action as soon as possible.