The Nets and 76ers kick off their First Round matchup in the NBA Playoffs this Saturday, and Philadelphia is likely to be without one of their key starters in Joel Embiid.
The Sixers listed the All-Star center as doubtful for the contest, per The Athletic's Derek Bodner. Embiid has been dealing with left knee soreness, and his status for the start of the playoffs has been a big question for Philly for some time now.
If Embiid is deemed out officially, it would be a big break for the Nets down around the rim. Jarrett Allen would have to go up against Boban Marjanovic, another very physical center. However, Marjanovic doesn't have the offensive versatility Embiid possesses, as the latter can score anywhere on the floor.
Last time these two teams met, Embiid dropped a game-high 39 points with 13 rebounds as well over 28 minutes. Brooklyn would be very happy that a performance like that doesn't come their way to kick off their postseason, and Allen as well as Ed Davis would have an easier matchup all night long.
Of course, the Nets would still have to deal with players like Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris. But having Embiid wearing a suit instead of the Sixers jersey on the bench could be the difference for a Game 1 victory on the road this weekend.