Joel Embiid is carrying the Sixers on a bad knee, it's time for others to step up

Jamie Apody Image
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Embiid is dominating the Hawks, but he could really use some help
Ben Simmons and the Sixers' bench have provided little help to the big man who is dominating the Hawks despite a torn meniscus.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- When Joel Embiid was diagnosed with a small tear in his meniscus, we all panicked.

But maybe we shouldn't have.

Embiid has been his regular dominant self so far in the series with Atlanta, scoring 79 points over the first two games, including a playoff career-high 40 in Game 2.

Atlanta has absolutely no answer for him. And the team realizes what a gem they have in the middle.

The problem?

The Hawks might have an advantage, everywhere else.

In the first half, their bench outscored the Sixers bench 32-0.

Sure, Shake Milton came in and helped seal the game. But the Sixers bench has been far too inconsistent lately to have anyone feeling confident they can handle things when the starters leave the game over a 7-game series.

The Hawks have so much more depth than the Sixers do.

On defense, Ben Simmons is going to have to be the guy to guard Trae Young.

He's the best shot at shutting Young down. But as we've seen, Young is a master at drawing ticky tack fouls, so that could also be a problem.

And speaking of Simmons, his offense is offensive. Four points out of the point guard just won't cut it.

The Hawks will get to basically ignore him and put their attention elsewhere.

I thought Atlanta would be just a small blip on the Sixers way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

But each time the Hawks get down, they come back. They're not going away, and they're much more talented than I thought.