Sixers star Joel Embiid suffered a right orbital fracture and mild concussion in the Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night. Embiid will miss at least a week but there’s currently no timetable for his return. 

Thursday’s win ensured the Sixers advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they will face the Miami Heat. Embiid’s eye injury is a new worry for the Philadelphia staff to add to a previous concern. He has been playing through a torn ligament in his right thumb for weeks now. The 28-year-old had vowed to continue playing through the thumb pain until after the postseason. During these playoffs, Embiid had averaged 26.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in six games.

Can The Sixers Win Without Embiid?

Joel Embiid is the centerpiece of the Sixers’ offense and also their defensive anchor. You have to find a way to replace the 30 points a game that he guarantees. That means James Harden and Tyrese Maxey running the offense, trying to make up for the loss of volume scoring. Tobias Harris and Danny Green will have to provide strong two-way play. 

Paul Reed and possibly (DeAndre Jordan or Paul Millsap ) are also options to start. Shake Milton will become more prominently involved, especially to offer more spacing. It is not impossible to win without Embiid but it is very difficult, especially against a team like Miami. The Sixers have played well in some games without Embiid this season by spreading the floor and playing small but this would be a tougher task. 

Timeline & Possible Return 

At this moment in time, he is said to be out indefinitely and that is a source of worry. If he can somehow return for game 3 then the Sixers still stand a chance. However, if Embiid is out for the entire series, it would be almost impossible for the Sixers to win. James Harden would probably have to put up 30 points night after night to get them over the line. 

Embiid is such an important part of everything that happens as far as winning for the Sixers. He has the ability to do pretty much everything, be a presence inside and still spread the floor. This will be a tough loss for Philadelphia. Unless he returns at some point in this series, winning will be a very tough ask for the Sixers.