For the second consecutive postseason game and 10th in a row overall, the All-Star big man was forced to watch from the sideline while he recovers from surgery for an orbital fracture. Embiid had hoped to play in Game 2 after the NBA’s concussion protocol, but the Sixers are being conservative with his return to the court and ultimately ruled him out.
After Monday’s game, Embiid took to Instagram to vent his frustrations, writing, “F—ing sick and tired of being babied.”
When asked about the post, Embiid stressed to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he was simply eager to suit up for his team once again.
“I promised the city the playoffs and I’m not on the court and I may not be on Thursday either,” Embiid said. “I wish more than anything that I was out there. I just want the green light to play.”
After the loss, 76ers coach Brett Brown seemed understanding of Embiid’s emotions.
“He just wants to play basketball,” Brown said. “He wants to be with his team. He wants to play in front of the fans. He wants to see this through. When he’s not able to do that, he gets frustrated.”
This is not the first time Philadelphia has played it safe with Embiid’s on-court health. The franchise kept him from playing in back-to-back games for most of the first half of the season. Despite those restrictions and his late-season injury, Embiid played in 63 games after logging just 31 total over his first three seasons since being drafted third overall in 2014.