Joel Embiid to miss Game 1 vs. Heat

Joel Embiid brought back his very gold sneakers

Joel Embiid brought back his very gold sneakers

Regardless of how they got there, the Philadelphia 76ers are one of the best teams in the National Basketball Association, and with the playoffs on the way, it looks like it's Philly vs.

The Heat were in a constant state of flux throughout the season, with starting center Hassan Whiteside limited to 54 games due to injuries and lost Dion Waiters for the season with an ankle injury in late December. Hinkie was eventually ousted last season as Bryan Colangelo eventually became team president, but the seeds of Hinkie's work took hold last season when Philadelphia improved to 28-54 while No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons was sidelined with a foot injury. And while Joel Embiid's status for Game 1 is still up in the air, this team is risky. During the win streak, Simmons is averaging a triple double, notching 14.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.9 assists per game.

The big man suffered an orbital bone fracture after an errant elbow from rookie Markelle Fultz caught him square in the face, forcing him to miss the last eight games of the regular season.

I believe that this young Sixers team has a legitimate shot to get to the NBA Finals this year if they get to the Eastern Conference Finals. The likes of Amir Johnson and T.J. McConnell would need to step up their game in the playoffs and try and get a little more load off their star-duo if the Sixers hope to prolong their postseason.

The decision to not play Embiid is far from shocking.

The Heat will be visiting the 76ers on Saturday to open the series, and rest assured the Wells Fargo Center will be rocking when the game tips at 8 ET.

As good as Toronto is, it seems futile picking against James and the firepower around him to get to the NBA Finals.

"I like Houston and Golden State, pending their health, as being my top two favorites", five-time victor Kobe Bryant said during a conference call to promote his new basketball analysis show "Detail" that will run on ESPN during the postseason.

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