Embiid in starting lineup for 76ers in Game 1 against Nets

Aubrey Yates
April 16, 2019

After playing well enough to earn the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the real fun begins for the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday when they kick the playoffs off against a surprise contender in the Brooklyn Nets. Only there was plenty of cause for trepidation when examining his team.

Joel Embiid was hobbled, Ben Simmons was non-existent, but Butler put the team on his back in moments throughout the game trying to change the direction of Game 1.

But what exactly does a "deep run" mean?

Brown, for his part, called the actions of Johnson and Embiid "completely unacceptable", stressing Philadelphia would "deal with it internally". And what about that collection of talent?

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Embiid has always fancied himself a 3-point shooter and with tendinitis in his left knee that cost him most of the final month of the season rendering him immobile he made a decision to camp out a bit more beyond the arc.

Let's take a minute to go through why the Nets can and why the Nets cannot win the series against the Sixers.

Now things get interesting.

Embiid has not played since April 6 due to a knee issue, which had the Philadelphia 76ers saying they were unsure if he would be available for Game 1 of their first round series against the Brooklyn Nets.

Brooklyn isn't the team that has played less than a dozen games with its starting unit together.

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The Nets took command early and never relented.

Embiid said Johnson was just checking on his sick daughter, according to a report from The Athletic.

It's tough to say the same about his team.

Johnson was caught by TV cameras sitting on the bench and scrolling through his phone late in the fourth quarter, with the Sixers down 16 points in an eventual 111-102 loss.

Embiid is clearly not right. Without him, the Sixers might simply not be able to keep up with the Nets' offense.

Jimmy Butler scored 36 points and saved the Sixers, widely considered a favorite to at least reach the East semis, from losing by 25.

"I love the fans". Philadelphia needs him to live up to the billing he has as a shooter in this league for them to bounce back and win Game 2. We all want him to be smart.

"We all got to do a better job. Us".

Embiid grimaced at times in dead-ball situations, and he had a chance to assess how his body was feeling without adrenaline pumping or the music blaring at Wells Fargo Center. "We got great minds behind it", Russell said.

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