The 76ers are hoping Joel Embiid will be on the floor for the start of the playoffs. But, his status is uncertain.
The team is “optimistic” the star 25-year-old center will be available when the postseason begins this weekend, general manager Elton Brand told reporters Wednesday. Brand, however, said “it’s possible” he won’t play.
Brand says he’s optimistic that Embiid will play. https://t.co/kYEdai5vMf
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) April 10, 2019
Embiid has been dealing with a knee injury which has kept him sidelined for four of Philadelphia’s last six games. He will also miss the team’s regular-season finale Wednesday against the Bulls.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said late last month he wasn’t concerned about Embiid’s injury.
“This is not sort of a reaction to symptoms,” Brown said at the time. “We’re just trying to be smart and deliver him to play in the playoffs ready to go. Sure, you wish he was playing and all that. But the end is what’s going to matter the most.”
Embiid is averaging 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game this season. He’s shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, the 76ers acquired forward Tobias Harris from the Clippers in a deadline deal to pair with stars Embiid and Simmons. Philadelphia traded for Jimmy Butler earlier this season, as well.
Brand said he made those moves with the playoffs in mind.
“My expectation is to get past where we got last year, that’s why I made these moves,” Brand said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I expect us to pass that.”
Philadelphia will finish the season in third place of the Eastern Conference standings.