Sixers Are the Healthiest They’ve Ever Been in the Playoffs
It's been a long road to get here. At last, the Philadelphia 76ers can head into a postseason matchup without any injury worries - and the timing for that couldn't be more perfect. The Sixers took the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals series lead the other night as they dominated the Toronto Raptors at home. They will have a Sunday afternoon matchup before heading back up North, and the Sixers could have a remarkable 3-1 lead.
From the moment the playoffs started, everybody knew that Philly's failure or success would come down to one thing. That's being healthy. Well, finally, the 76ers head into Game 4 with a clean injury report. As of the Saturday night injury report, not a single Sixers' player was listed. Notable absentee names included Greg Monroe and Mike Scott, who have been dealing with lower-body injuries. And as for the seemingly always-injured Joel Embiid, he's been feeling suitable for quite some time now.
In fact, he seems to be the healthiest he's ever been. After averaging just under 20 minutes-per-game in the last series, Embiid has remained on the court for around 30 minutes-per-game against Toronto through three games, recently playing his series-low with 28 minutes on Thursday night. Despite the Sixers having a clean report, at the right time, the Raptors have a few guys on their report, and one of the names raises a big problem for the visitors on Sunday.
On Sunday, the Raptors are preparing to potentially play without their star forward, Pascal Siakam. Although Toronto as a whole has struggled over the last two matchups, Siakam has been the only other contributor on the team who has been a big help to Kawhi Leonard. However, the Sixers can't prepare as if Siakam surely won't play. After all, we could be witnessing a bit of a mind game towards Philly to throw them off base.
We've seen Philadelphia play this game against Brooklyn a few weeks back. Joel Embiid would show up as a 'doubtful' candidate on the injury report, just to end up announcing he's playing ten minutes before the matchup. The severity of Siakam's calf injury is unclear, but the Sixers will likely call Toronto's bluff, just in case they are in fact, trying to throw the Sixers off here. Regardless of if Siakam plays or not, the Sixers can at least be satisfied with the fact they don't have to worry about injuries affecting their production on the court.
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