Joel Embiid may not be ready for playoffs with continuing knee pain

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Foot and knee injuries have sidelined him for long periods of time, including a torn meniscus in his ailing left knee suffered in 2017. He will also miss the team's regular-season finale Wednesday against the Bulls.

Brand first said he's "optimistic" Embiid would be ready to play in the postseason opener before admitting that the All-Star center's availability is not yet a certainty.

"Everywhere I've been, I've had great relationships with players", Boylen said.

If the optimist in Brand and Brown is right, Embiid's fitness level will still be a source of concern.

Like most teams, the Sixers have gone through their fair share of struggles at times throughout the regular season, but hopefully Brown will have this team ready for the start of this series against the Nets, which will officially begin on Saturday. Sure, you wish he was playing and all that.

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Embiid, who has missed 14 games because of either injury or rest since the All-Star Game, where he played with teammate Ben Simmons, averaged 27.5 points and 13.5 boards this season. He's shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range.

By splitting the season series, the Nets have already proven they have what it takes to compete with a team like the Sixers, and just because Philadelphia finished with the better record doesn't mean they're guaranteed to win.

Meanwhile, the 76ers acquired forward Tobias Harris from the Clippers in a deadline deal to pair with stars Embiid and Simmons. Two general managers removed from Sam Hinkie and trusting the process, Elton Brand made two major acquisitions during this season.

Philadelphia will finish the season in third place of the Eastern Conference standings.

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