At some point, we have to acknowledge that Joel Embiid’s ability to stay healthy may never match his basketball talent. His latest injury, which looks to have happened to his surgically-repaired left knee. 

The mishap happened as Embiid went for a  highlight play, throwing the ball off the backboard before jumping up to catch it and slam it in. That first dunk attempt of the game went in, but he quickly went down in a heap and had to be helped up by his teammates and coaching staff.

The most concerning thing for the Philadelphia Sixers is how he looked shellshocked on the ground. Instead of making noise or looking visibily in pain, he instead looked stone-faced, with one eye twitching as he looked pleadingly at the sky. The injury took the wind out of the Sixers’ sails, and what was once an early 13-point first half lead evaporated. 


Embiid, to his credit, came back to the game in the second half. However, he did not look the same. His presence still inspired a comeback from the Sixers, but they couldn’t make shots down the stretch to steal the win.

Embiid moved gingerly on defense and he did not show the same aggressiveness, often giving up the ball to a wing player after getting it and acting more as a decoy. He still finished with 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals, but it wasn’t enough in the 111-104 defeat.

It’s a painful loss for the Sixers as well because they held Jalen Brunson to 22 points on 8 of 26 shooting. However, Josh Hart and Miles McBride combined for 43 points to help Brunson out.

It sucks to watch someone so talented continue to keep getting hurt. Let’s see if he’s feeling better in Game 2.