Sixers losing streak extends to four as Joel Embiid reinjures knee

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, right, reacts after an injury during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia 76ers continued their Western Conference road trip with a game Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors. After falling to the Portland Trail Blazers the night previous, the Sixers returned to action, looking to put an end to their three-game losing streak.

Unfortunately for Philadelphia fans, not only would the night end in a 107-119 loss, but an even greater tragedy would befall the team.

Worries continue for Embiid’s knee

More than anything, the most important takeaway from this game is that Joel Embiid’s knee continues to be worrisome, to say the least. After missing the previous two games due to this lingering knee issue, Embiid received plenty of ire from fans across the league, believing the injury to be more fiction than fact.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) watches from the bench as the 76ers fall behind the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game 7 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series, Sunday, May 14, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Well, for all those doubters, perhaps they enjoyed this game in which Embiid was clearly hampered throughout by the injury.

In the fourth quarter, as the game began to slip away for the Sixers, Embiid still found himself on the court despite his clear limitations. That allowed an unfortunate opportunity for further injury.

As Embiid found himself on the ground attempting to gather a loose ball, Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga dove for that same ball, unfortunately landing directly on Embiid’s left knee. The Sixers’ star center immediately began to writhe in pain and would make his way to the locker room, putting an end to his evening.

Considering how Embiid looked from the jump, several questions can fairly be brought up. Who cleared him to play? Why was he allowed to remain in the game after it was clear that he was unfit to play? And at what point will the organization decide they will not get in their own way regarding his injury management?

It was a disappointing night for many reasons, none more so than the Sixers’ poor decision-making around Joel Embiid’s injury.

Jaden Springers into action

On a positive note, Jaden Springer played perhaps the best game of his young career as he was a defensive menace throughout the game, terrorizing the Warriors and creating turnover after turnover. Philadelphia needed every last ounce of Springer’s aggression and physicality

Philadelphia 76ers’ Jaden Springer (11) shoots against Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner (33) and Bennedict Mathurin (00) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

It’s been a bit of a disappointment of a season so far for Springer who was expected to take a leap in his third season. While he hasn’t reached the heights many had hoped for, Springer continues to show a wealth of defensive potential.

Finishing the game with 10 points, five rebounds, two assists, and an impressive four steals, Springer certainly left his mark on the game. If he remains with the Sixers past the trade deadline, he may find himself with an opportunity to earn a consistent role, considering De’Anthony Melton’s pending free agency.

Up next for the Sixers

The Sixers will next head to Utah to face off against the Jazz in the final game of their Western Conference road trip. Coming off of a loss against the Knicks on Tuesday night, the Jazz will undoubtedly be ready to go on their home court.

Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen, center, reacts to his dunk during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, in Philadelphia. The Jazz won 120-109. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Tip-off is at 10:00 pm EST, and you can catch the game on TNT or listen live at 97.5 FM The Fanatic.