Sixers big man Joel Embiid officially out for Game 1 vs. Heat

Sixers big man Joel Embiid officially out for Game 1 vs. Heat

Sixers big man Joel Embiid officially out for Game 1 vs. Heat

The Philadelphia 76ers are playing in their first playoff game since 2012 on Saturday, but they'll be without one of their key players against the Miami Heat. They're holding opponents to an NBA-low.434% field-goal percentage per game, and are averaging 27.1 assists a game-second only to the defending National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors. The Sixers enter the postseason on a 16-game winning streak.

The one team they played at full strength was the Cavaliers, but the Sixers almost blew a 30-point lead in that match-up and managed to win by just one basket. Embiid has been out of the Sixers' lineup since March 28, when he suffered a broken bone around his left eye in a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz.

But the Sixers have exceeded their fans wildest dreams, and Simmons, his unselfish play and his ability to take over games when the team needs him to, are a big part of why the team has home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The biggest game on Wednesday's slate is the Denver at Minnesota contest, the first last-day-of-season game in 21 years where the victor will go to the playoffs and the loser will miss the postseason.

Like I said, it was his to lose. It only takes one game in the postseason to swing a series, and if Fultz can channel the wizardry that made him such a dynamic prospect at Washington, he absolutely could do just that. "It's such a great mix in the locker room, veterans to young guys who are hungry to learn and ready to succeed". Also, the top-seeded Toronto Raptors will host the Washington Wizards in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The last Sixers coach so honored was Doug Collins in 2011. At one point, the Sixers led 72-37 — at the same time the Flyers were down 7-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League playoffs. Simmons has shown in his rookie season that he has superstar potential.

Bucks: Jabari Parker scored 25 and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"I mean, if you said what's the most impressive thing of the night, that's mine", Sixers head coach Brett Brown said of Fultz's triple-double. Game 3 will be in Miami Thursday night at 7. Game 1 on Saturday is just the start. Game 6 would be in Miami Thursday April 26. Starting times have not been announced.

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