Joel Embiid’s week started with a dominant 49-point, 14-rebound effort against the Atlanta Hawks. The Philadelphia 76ers saw the best version of their big man, however, one game later, they saw the worst as Embiid suffered a shoulder injury.
The All-Star center sprained his left shoulder in Philly’s 108-94 road loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 76ers were already without guard Ben Simmons. The loss dropped Philadelphia to 9-21 on the road.
The injury scare brings the team’s largest fear with building around Embiid to the forefront. There was good news on the injury front, though. Both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and the Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that there was no structural damage to the shoulder.
Joel Embiid will be reevaluated in one week and the 25-year-old should miss most if not all of the upcoming West-coast road trip. He entered Wednesday’s game averaging 23.8 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, which helped him earn his third straight All-Star selection.
The 76ers other All-Star, Ben Simmons, is also out with injury. Simmons suffered nerve impingement in his lower back and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Overall, the 76ers are 37-23, currently percentage points behind the Miami Heat for the 4-seed in the East. They’re 6-4 over their last 10 games. They gained ground on the floundering Heat, who are 3-7 in their last 10.
Without Simmons and Embiid, the 76ers may be stuck as the 5-seed. An extended absence might cost them that position as well, considering they’re just 1.5 games ahead of the 6-seed Indiana Pacers (35-24).
The team’s road woes will be on display as Philadelphia starts a 4-game, 7-day western road trip. The 76ers will play both Los Angeles teams before heading to Sacramento and Golden State.
Philadelphia now looks to center Al Horford, as well as forward Tobias Harris and guard Josh Richardson to keep them afloat. Those players came together to help the 76ers defeat the New York Knicks 115-106 on Thursday night. The win improved Philadelphia’s home record to an NBA-best 28-2.