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Philadelphia 76ers

NBA playoffs 2019: Philadelphia 76ers GM Elton Brand suggests Joel Embiid may not be healthy in time for the playoffs

Joel Embiid will miss the Philadelphia 76ers' season finale against the Chicago Bulls with 'left knee soreness' with a chance that the injury could keep the All-Star big man sidelined for the beginning of the playoffs.

76ers general manager Elton Brand addressed the media ahead of today's game, saying 'it's possible' that Embiid may not be ready to go for the first round, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Brand however, did add that he was 'optimistic' Embiid would be healthy, with the playoffs set to begin Sunday, April 14.

"I'm optimistic he plays this weekend, but it's a combination of how he feels. I think he'll present well and he'll be ready, but we don't know."

Embiid was a force this season for the 76ers, appearing in a career-high 64 games, surpassing the 63 games played in 2017/18.

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The 7-footer was relatively healthy this season, however, 13 of the 18 games he's missed have come after the All-Star break, with the team struggling in those games at 6-7 without Embiid, who has battled minor knee and back injuries in recent weeks.

It's no secret, the 76ers are a much better team with Embiid on the floor as the focal point and as they continue to build chemistry, his health will be central to their playoff aspirations.

Embiid averaged 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 blocks in 33.7 minutes per game this year, leading the 76ers to the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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