- Ben Simmons is already sidelined with a back injury and Joel Embiid is due for an MRI on his shoulder after suffering a sprain in Wednesday’s loss to the Cavs
- The Sixers are just 36-23 on the season and are well below .500 on the road
- Philly’s Championship odds have the Sixers now at +2500; are their dreams of a title over?
The Philadelphia 76ers entered the season as one of the favorites in the NBA Championship odds. With the playoffs a matter of weeks away, Philadelphia has slipped to +2500 to win the title.
Joel Embiid suffered a shoulder injury in Wednesday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers – the Cameroonian center is heading for an MRI on Thursday. Ben Simmons is already out for the Sixers, and the All-Star point guard isn’t due to be evaluated for another fortnight.
An already disappointing season has taken a drastic turn for Philadelphia over the last week. Their championship odds reflect that, as do their Atlantic Division odds – they are out at +1400 to win the division following Embiid’s injury.
2020 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||Odds at BetOnline|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+275|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+350|
Odds taken Feb. 27th
As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, the Embiid injury situation was a mess. The All-NBA center left the game and headed to the locker room after injuring his shoulder, only to return to the bench. He then left for the locker room once again and was ruled out of the game.
Joel Embiid left the 76ers game against the Cavaliers for the locker room after a shoulder injury, only to return to the bench and then exit for the locker room again. Now he’s ruled out with a left shoulder sprain.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 27, 2020
The Sixers do not have the best track record when it comes to injury management. As recently as this season, they appeared to rush Embiid back from a broken finger and he was subpar in first few games once he returned. Simmons sat out against the Nets with a back issue. He started the game two days later against the Milwaukee Bucks but managed less than five minutes.
Searching for Rhythm
The Sixers have been battling an imperfect fit all season. Moving Al Horford to the bench seemed to have helped, and it led to a brilliant win over the Los Angeles Clippers with Embiid and Simmons co-existing. Any hope of building on that has been ruined by these injuries.
they actually contemplated putting embiid back in the game. who was literally grimacing in pain with every movement. just a hapless organization. beyond reproach.
— si6 (@dmay706) February 27, 2020
The ceiling has remained high because of the talent on the roster. They have had games where they look like a genuine title challenger, but Brett Brown and his key players had a lot to work out over the rest of the season. They couldn’t afford to lose time.
Horford, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson, the Sixers’ three other starters, were poor against the Cavaliers (one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA). The trio combined for just 31 points on 12-for-35 from the field.
With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid both out, Al Horford (4-10), Tobias Harris (3-12) and Josh Richardson (4-12) have combined for just 28 points on 11-34 shooting against the league's 2nd worst defense. That's not going to get it done.
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 27, 2020
The division is well out of reach if both Embiid and Simmons are absent for multiple games. Having one of them injured, let alone both, makes it very hard to see how the Sixers can get themselves into a position to be competitive in the playoffs. Brown needed this time with all his starters available – losing Embiid and Simmons for a prolonged period is a nightmare.
Avoid Philly With All Wagers
The upside of this Sixers team has been tempting all season long. Their odds have lengthened since the first game of the campaign, and it’s been easy to get swept up in the potential of them, particularly on the defensive end.
The lure of an elite defense, partnered with Embiid battering people in the post and Simmons blowing teams away in transition, remains. The injuries are such a huge concern, though. It’s possible Embiid and Simmons are out for a long period.
Simmons didn’t play and Embiid played half a quarter
And Tobias had 11 points and Horford had 9 points……
— 𝔸𝕝𝕖𝕩🥜 (@ZhaireWRLD) February 27, 2020
Even if they both returned for the playoffs, they are not going to have many games to develop any sort of rhythm. Brown already faced a stern task to go on a deep post-season run; that’s just got a whole lot tougher.
Their season cannot be declared over until we know more about the respective injuries. For now, though, they don’t represent value in the division or championship odds. That could, of course, change if their price lengthens further, which it may well do if Embiid is unavailable for a couple of weeks.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.