In order for the Philadelphia 76ers to stay competitive and still be considered as one of the top teams in the NBA, they have to remain healthy. Star center Joel Embiid is a big part of that, too, but everyone got a massive scare Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Entering the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Sixers were riding a four-game losing streak. They needed a spark to get back to their winning ways. Thankfully, Embiid delivered, but not before one of the most horrific-looking dislocated fingers in 2020.
Midway through the first quarter, Embiid went to contest a short jumper by Thunder forward Darius Bazley. He missed the shot, but the damage was done. OKC center Steven Adams, who ultimately finished the play with a dunk, accidentally hit his left ring finger on the play and it caused a rather disgusting finger injury.
Joel Embiid Dislocated Finger
Obviously, Joel Embiid’s finger on his left hand was not normal. No finger is supposed to bend that way. The NBA All-Star center told ESPN he felt it “snapping, and I thought I fractured it.’
Embiid went back to the locker room to for X-Rays and was cleared to return to the game. He checked in at the start of the second quarter.
“It was pretty bad,” he said. “I basically could only play with one hand. It was really bad. But in the midst of the losing streak, I just wanted to make sure that I do everything possible to get us a win, and I was glad to get us a win.”
Although there was some obvious discomfort, Embiid still posted a near triple-double with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists to help the 76ers earn a much-needed 120-113 win.
However, it’s the finger everyone, including point guard Ben Simmons, was talking about after the game.
“Yeah, I nearly threw up when I saw that. But I’m glad he came back out. We needed him. He’s a big part of this team. We were glad to have him back out there.”
— Ben Simmons, via ESPN
Although Embiid played, Philly head coach Brett Brown might not have his big man when the Sixers play the Boston Celtics in an important Eastern Conference showdown.
“That’s a possibility,” Embiid told ESPN. “I want to play. It’s a big game. Last time we played them, we had great success, but at the end of the day, whatever they want me to do. Obviously, I’ll try to fight it, but they care about me, so whatever they want to do. … We’ll see.”
The regular season isn’t what matters. Philly needs Embiid healthy for the playoffs in a few months. However, we can all agree that injury looked a lot worse than maybe what it was.