With the 2019 postseason around the corner, three potential All-NBA players are battling nagging injuries that may threaten their availability for the start of their respective playoff series.
Sixers center Joel Embiid, who missed 14 of the team’s final 24 games due to left knee soreness, continues to deal with that issue and was only a partial participant in Friday’s practice. The big man called the situation “extremely frustrating,” and he and GM Elton Brand both indicated that there’s no guarantee Embiid will be able to play in Game 1 vs. the Nets on Saturday. His status will be updated soon.
Pistons power forward Blake Griffin, who was forced out of action for the club’s must-win regular-season finale on Wednesday due to his own left knee injury, is still considered day-to-day, head coach Dwane Casey said on Friday (link via The Associated Press). Like Embiid, Griffin isn’t necessarily a lock to play in Game 1. Detroit opens its first-round series vs. the Bucks on Saturday.
The news is a little more promising for Thunder forward Paul George, who is listed as day-to-day with right shoulder soreness. According to Royce Young of ESPN.com, George said on Friday that he intends to play in Game 1 vs. Portland on Sunday, regardless of his pain level.
“It’s playoff time, so it’s more than this, it’s about being out there with my guys,” George said. “As much as I can get it a hundred as possible, or close to it, you can expect me out there Sunday.”