A game-winning three-pointer by Joel Embiid in Game 3 has given the Philadelphia 76ers a clear runway to a first-round sweep against the Toronto Raptors. Unfortunately, bad news followed shortly after Embiid's incredible shot. Reports emerged that Embiid had a torn ligament in his thumb, an issue that cannot be rectified without the big man missing games.
So Embiid is still going to play, but the MVP candidate will undoubtedly be hampered by the thumb injury. To what degree is unclear; he's looked like his usual dominant self in the first round. Doc Rivers cast more doubt on the situation when he gave a rather ominous update about his superstar center to reporters today.
Rivers went on to explain that the injury can't get any worse, so Sixers fans can be happy about that, I guess. It appears that it'll be a pain management injury and Embiid will play as far as he's capable while the postseason continues.
It's very unfortunate timing. Embiid was a monster all season long yet none of it matters if the Sixers can't make a deep playoff run and a thumb injury on his shooting hand will affect his performance one way or the other. The All-Star is as tough as they come and has battled through various ailments in the playoffs before. Even if the Raptors series is just about over and done with, Philly will need everything he can give to reach their full potential.
This is why you trade for James Harden, though. We'll see if he can rise to the occasion.