The complexion of the Eastern Conference playoffs has been altered significantly with the news that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is out indefinitely after suffering a right orbital fracture and mild concussion in the team’s 132-97 series-clinching Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night, according to Shams Charania.
Embiid was already playing through a torn ligament in his right thumb that reportedly will require surgery this offseason, and now it looks like he will be forced to the sidelines with his latest injury. The 76ers are set to begin their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with the No. 1-seeded Miami Heat on Monday, and it appears that Embiid’s status for that game, and perhaps the series, is in doubt.
An MVP candidate for the second straight season, Embiid suffered the injury after being elbowed by Raptors forward Pascal Siakam with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Embiid is obviously crucial to any potential success for Philadelphia this postseason, leading the team with averages of 26.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. The bulk of the offensive responsibility will fall to James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris for as long as Embiid is out.
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