The NBA schedule resumes on Thursday. However, the Philadelphia 76ers will begin the home stretch without two key pieces to their rotation. On Wednesday, the 76ers announced they will be without center Joel Embiid for at least a week due to knee soreness.
Embiid participated in All Star weekend for Team Giannis. He didn’t show many signs of wear and tear during the break. Unfortunately, Embiid will be doing more physical therapy than playing on a basketball court.
In addition to Embiid’s misfortune, the 76ers are expected to be without Furkan Korkmaz for a longer duration. Korkmaz sustained a right knee injury during the Feb.12 matchup against the Boston Celtics. An eventual MRI revealed a meniscus tear. Now, Korkmaz has a couple of options to consider. He can rehab the injury and hope to return for the playoffs. Korkmaz may also opt for surgery.
The 76ers are tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a (37-21) record. Right now, they would have home court advantage in the first round. However, Embiid’s absence might be the difference in the playoff landscape. They have four games to finish out February. The best case scenario is for Embiid to return against the Oklahoma City. However, it is more than likely we will see Embiid face off against the Golden State Warriors in March.
Embiid is averaging 27.3 points and 14.5 rebounds in 54 games played. Forkmaz is scoring 5.8 points per game in a limited role with the 76ers. Due to the recent trades, Forkmaz was set to have a bigger role off the bench. Instead, the team will need to find valuable minutes elsewhere.