'We need Jo': 76ers fears over brutal Joel Embiid playoff injury

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Joel Embiid grimaces in pain after a nasty fall while playing against the Washington Wizards.
Joel Embiid left the 76ers' game four clash with Washinton in the first quarter after he was shaken up un a brutal fall. Pictures: Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping Joel Embiid will recover in time for game five of their first round playoff series against Washington after the MVP candidate suffered a brutal fall.

Embiid drove against Wizards center Robin Lopez in the first quarter and had his shot blocked, leading to him losing his balance and falling awkwardly on his tailbone.

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He attempted to play on but left the game for good a few minutes later.

In his absence, the Wizards were able to stave off a first round playoff sweep, earning a 122-114 victory and a road trip back to Philadelphia with the series at 3-1.

The Wizards took advantage of Embiid's injury and ran up a lead as large as 92-78 late in the third quarter. 

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The 76ers rallied back in fourth quarter to tie the game at 106, but Washington posted the game's final surge with a 12-4 run to close the fourth quarter and force a Game 5.

There has been no update as of yet regarding Embiid's status for game five.

Tobias Harris led the way for the 76ers in Embiid's absence, scoring a team-high 21 points but it wasn't enough to stop the Wizards, who were led by Bradley Beal's 27 points.

A back-and-forth fourth quarter was tight down the stretch after Danny Green's lay-up with about 4 minutes and 30 seconds to go made it 106-all.

That's when Washington basically took the ball out of Philadelphia's hands, sending Simmons to the line repeatedly with a version of the old Hack-a-Shaq strategy that Shaquille O'Neal used to face.

"Obviously that's what they're going to do. That's what they should do," Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said. "And I'm OK with that."

Simmons came into the night 0 for 9 on free throws in the series and was 1 for 3 for the night before Hack-a-Ben went into full effect.

Asked by a reporter about keeping Simmons in the game while Washington repeatedly fouled him, Rivers replied: "You want me to take Ben Simmons off the floor? No. He's pretty good. I'll pass on that suggestion."

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Sixers, Wizards playoff clash marred by more fan idiocy

In what is becoming an worrying recent trend in the NBA, however, the idiotic actions of a supporter once again dominated much of the discussion around the game.

The incident occurred during the third quarter of the game when a spectator at Capitol One Arena ran onto the court and tried to touch the rim.

He was promptly tackled by a security guard before being rushed off the floor.

The security guard quickly escorted the intruder off the court and into the tunnel as fans in Washington booed loudly.

Play resumed shortly after the interruption, with the Wizards later announcing that the offending fan will face charges from Washington DC police and a ban from Capitol One Arena.

Security lies on top of a fan who ran onto the court during the Wizards' playoff win over Philadelphia.
A fan was tackled by security at the Capital One Arena after running on the court during game four of the Sixers-Wizards NBA Playoff series. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The incident is the latest in a series of unsavoury acts from NBA fans that have left basketball supporters fed up on social media.

The opening round of the playoffs, which have seen most teams welcome an increasing number of fans back into arenas after they were banned for the majority of the coronavirus pandemic to date, has been marred by several instances of fans taking things too far.

A Philadelphia 76ers fan was thrown out and handed a life ban after pouring popcorn over Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook.

A New York Knicks fans earned a life ban from Madison Square Garden for spitting on Atlanta point guard Trae Young during their game one loss to the Hawks.

The two games in New York also frequently saw Knicks fans chant 'f*** Trae Young' throughout the game.

The family of Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant were involved in an incident in which they were verbally abused by Utah Jazz fans.

With AAP

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