Joel Embiid In A ‘Lose-Lose Situation’ After Game 5 Loss To Heat

Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid

When Joel Embiid subs out of a game, the question of when he’ll return is almost always front of mind.

How many minutes of rest can Sixers head coach Doc Rivers buy? Can the team hold up without its superstar?

None of that was on the radar in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at FTX Arena. Embiid walked to the end of the Sixers’ bench and sat next to Paul Millsap with 10:38 remaining and the Sixers behind by 24 points. His night was done and the final margin of the Game 5 loss was ultimately 35. The Sixers must-win Thursday to force a Game 7 back in Miami.

Can The Sixers Survive Without Joel Embiid?

Joel Embiid played his third straight game with a protective mask after suffering a right orbital fracture and concussion in the Sixers’ Round 1, Game 6 win over the Raptors. In the middle of the second quarter, it was fair enough to wonder whether the mask had done its intended job.

After making two free throws to draw the Sixers within nine points, Embiid lost out on a rebound and stayed on the floor, face in his hands, well after Victor Oladipo laid in the loose ball. On TNT’s replays, it appeared Dewayne Dedmon pushed the ball into Embiid’s mask. The officials called a technical foul on the infuriated Rivers, though they let Embiid vent after he got up.

“I don’t exactly know what happened,” Embiid said, “but I just felt something to my face, in that area. Pretty painful, but it’s whatever.”

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