THE PHILADELPHIA – Everyone is aware that Joel Embiid’s health will determine whether or not the 76ers make the playoffs.
Instead of Embiid’s knee, which kept him out of 14 of the final 24 regular-season games and Game 3 of the first round, the issue is a stomach bug, which has so far manifested as flu-like symptoms in this Eastern Conference semifinal versus the Toronto Raptors.
“The night wasn’t pleasant for me. slept little, “About Saturday night, Embiid stated. “was sick, vomiting. At six in the morning, I required an IV. I made an effort to compete and succeed. It was obviously not enough.”
Eflin’s significance to the Phillies is evident on a soggy Sunday. After scoring only 11 points in the Sixers’ 101-96 loss in Game 4 on Sunday, Embiid is giving the phrase “under the weather” a whole new meaning.
The Sixers’ top concerns right now are Embiid’s diet, how much sleep he’s getting, and whether an IV is available. Forget about Embiid’s hard falls to the floor.
When Embiid is in top form, like he was in Game 3 when he scored 33 points and was healthy, the Sixers are a title threat. As Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors demonstrated, the Sixers are highly beatable when he is throwing up, sneezing loudly in the locker room, or coughing on the floor.
In order to help his team win a vital playoff game, Sixers coach Brett Brown was left scrambling once more.
The Sixers won Game 2 despite Embiid scoring only 12 points, so it appeared to be working. That didn’t happen in Game 4, where Leonard scored 39 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer against Embiid to level the series at 2-2.
Let’s just say that if Embiid could avoid getting the flu and the ordinary cold, the Sixers would be completely in control of this series.
This morning at 6:20, Brown received a text from him informing him that he hadn’t slept all night. “He had never before felt this ill, and he was unsure (if he can play). And with that, I began my day and began to fast-forward about who would be coming in, how you would cycle the squad, etc.”
An hour or so before the game, Brown had a much clearer understanding of the situation.
Brown stated, “You can hear him sneezing continuously during the pregame tape. “And you make an effort to ignore it, coach through it, and show the pregame video to the guys. However, I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t entirely on my mind as I was speaking with the team and demonstrating the tape.”
Both sides were in a desperate state as the Sixers squandered an opportunity to go back to Toronto with a 3-1 lead. If they had achieved that, they might have become the first Eastern Conference champions since 2001.
Instead, the Raptors regained the advantage of playing at home, and the following three games—starting with Game 5 on Tuesday—will be played there twice.
Imagine the Sixers’ top player continually getting sick, causing them to lose a series.
The fact that the Sixers still came close to winning proves how talented they are. With 2:08 remaining, JJ Redick’s 3-pointer brought the Sixers within one point. But Leonard, who has been the series’ best player by a wide margin, responded.
After the game, when asked once more about Ben Simmons’ defense of him, Leonard provided the following response, with the questioner insinuating that Simmons did an excellent job “limited” Leonard to 39 points on 13 of 20 shooting:
It’s not only about me and him lying on the ground, but Leonard also remarked. I want to defeat the entire Sixers squad.
And he is, mostly a result of Embiid’s current illness.
This condition, according to Embiid, is distinct from his stomach ailment from Game 2.
Embiid stated, “In Game 2, it was just my stomach. “This one is, it seems, everywhere. cold and headaches”
He claimed that he isn’t making an excuse out of it.
No matter the circumstance, he remarked, “Once I get on the court, I have to perform a better job.” I need to be more assertive.
Jimmy Butler led the way in scoring with 29 points, but despite the crowd’s jubilant cries of “JIM-MY BUT-LER!” he was unable to seal the victory in the closing minutes.
That is because Embiid wasn’t able to offer much assistance.
While Embiid can dominate a game when healthy, Leonard demonstrated how an elite player can do the same thing when healthy. Leonard was compared to Kobe by Brown.
Through three quarters, Leonard had scored 31 points. The remaining Raptors scored 44 points, tying the game between the two teams at 75.
While Embiid does not for the Sixers, Leonard must do everything for the Raptors. But he needs to accomplish more than just make 2 of 7 shots and get 8 rebounds.
Three factors are necessary for the Sixers to lead the Raptors 3-1 in the NBA playoff series. Embiid has scored 16 points or fewer in three of the four games. Leonard, on the other hand, has averaged 33 points or more throughout this series.
Regarding Embiid, Butler added, “We don’t care how many (shots) you take or miss. “For a good reason, you’re our top player. With you by our sides, we’ll both win and lose.
“We only wanted him to be hostile. I’m on board with going 2-for-2 instead of 2-for-7. We require him to always be aggressive because it is what we need. To demonstrate why you control both ends of the floor every night.
“We got a day to get it right.”
On May 5, 2019, Jimmy Butler, number 23, of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the opening period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia against the Toronto Raptors.
Given Toronto’s lopsided defeat in Game 3, Brown was aware the Raptors wouldn’t soon succumb to discouragement.
He promptly put an end to any discussion of that prospect by stating that his team was “grossly premature” in thinking in that manner. With playoff lives on the line, the Sixers defeat the Raptors.
He was aware that Embiid was ill once more. Additionally, the Sixers may be eliminated from the playoffs if their star player can’t stay healthy.