Joel Embiid says he’ll continue playing by twisting his thumb after Toronto Raptors Force 5

Toronto – Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid He believes he will be able to play by twisting his right thumb until the playoffs are over, saying that if there is a ligament tear, he expects any kind of surgery to be postponed until the end of the season.

“I want to play, so obviously I had to listen to what they had to say,” Embiid said Saturday after the 76ers were on the wrong end of a 110-102 decision against the Raptors in Game 4 of the first-round series. “So, I imagine I keep playing and maybe do something after the season.”

Embiid, who suffered a thumb sprain in the first half of Game 3, finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes in the fourth inning. foul line. He wore a wrap on his right thumb (shooting) during the match and had the same brace in his hand that he had after Match 3 and in Friday’s practice.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Vojnarowski reported Saturday that an initial examination of the thumb showed a ligament tear, but an MRI, which Embiid said would be done on Sunday, was required to confirm that.

Embiid said the injury was painful and joked that “in basketball, you need to use your hand a lot” when asked if it affected his playing on the court.

When asked what specifically bothers him, he said it affected his recoil. Embiid’s eight rebounds were his lowest in any game since his victory over Dallas on Jan. 18 – 14 games.

“I would say it was more, you know, when it comes to rebounding, in the free throw as well as the passing,” Embiid said. “I don’t know how to explain but that’s anything. But the bigger story is we lost the match, we couldn’t close it. We should have done better.”

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The 76ers couldn’t close the series because the Raptors were able to carry on with the way they played throughout most of Game 3, which they led the vast majority of before Embiid’s last-second shot in overtime stole Philadelphia’s win. Toronto managed to continue playing this way despite losing the All-Star goalkeeper Fred Vanfleet In the second quadrant with a left hip strain.

Vanfleet tore his shirt in half in frustration as he left the field with 4:57 to go in the second quarter and was later disqualified. The Raptors point guard was getting more shots on his hip Saturday night to determine his availability going forward.

“I think maybe he knew it was painful enough because he was leaving the game,” Raptors coach Nick Norse said of Vanfleet. “First of all, as you all know, he’s banged up really well this year and he keeps pegging them out and playing for big minutes every night. So, there’s a lot to that. Not everyone in this league does that.

“And when you’re fighting through one thing and all of a sudden you get another thing that’s as painful as it seemed to him, that’s frustrating. He’s going to play a lot of bangs and bruises and bumps and he’s not going to be healthy and I’m sure he just wanted to play so I’m sure he’s frustrated.”

The Raptors have managed to overcome VanVleet’s absence in part due to a comeback Scotty Barnes, who was named the NBA Rookie of the Year on Saturday. Barnes is back after missing the previous two games with a left ankle sprain.

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Barnes, who was off the bench initially, replaced Vanfleet as the team’s starting point guard in the second half. While he went 1 for 6 off the field, he finished with 11 rebounds, two assists and no spin plus six points.

“Just try to put in that defensive effort,” Barnes said, when asked how he thought about match four. certain things.

“Just having that presence trying to be a leader out there on the ground, that’s what I’m really trying to do. I’m not trying to do much, just bring that presence.”

The Raptors, as they did in Game 3 here, continued to give Philadelphia spells in the ways they were supposed to enter the series. Toronto forced the 76 players to 16 turns — which became the Raptors’ 22 points — and racked up 13 offensive rebounds, resulting in 12 second-chance points and eight more shot attempts.

That, combined with Toronto taking more free throws than Philadelphia for the first time in the series (35-25) and getting big offers from Pascal Siakam (34 points, eight rebounds, five assists) and Gary Trent Jr. (24 points), was enough for the Raptors to reach the board in the series.

And while 76 players said they didn’t play with enough energy and effort and needed to be better in Game 5, Embiid had his own message for the ruling crews of Scott Foster, Ed Malloy and Rodney Mott as he gave them the long standing ovation in golf. On his way off the field.

“Okay, I will take my advice and not complain about mistakes,” Embiid said. “But, as I was doing at the end of the game [with the clapping]They did a great job. I admire the work they did today. To me, it felt like they had one job coming here tonight, and they’ve done it. So, congratulations to them.”

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When asked if that “mission” was to make sure there was a Game 5, Embiid said, “I don’t know…but you can tell. But they did a great job.”

“Like I said, I’m going to take my own advice and not complain about it. I think, in the next game, if they don’t call it, I’ll be more offensive and defensive. If they want to give them, like, fouls or if they want to call, really, no fouls, I have to make them.” They earn it and I get really physical.”

Embiid admitted he is still not sure what happened in Game 3 to cause the injury. It’s just the latest in a string of frightening injuries Embiid has suffered throughout his career – especially in the playoffs.

But when asked if he’s frustrated with having to deal again with an injury at the most important time of the year, Embiid said he’s only focused on what he can control when he goes on the field.

“That’s whatever,” Embiid said. “I’m a Catholic. Oh my God… I always put it in his hands. That’s why when I go out there I don’t focus on, you know, what could happen or what’s going to happen?”

“I just go out there hoping for the best and confidence, and confidence [my teammates]. So this series wasn’t… I mean, nobody knows [this], but I was really sick the first two games. But you know, I fought through it.

“It’s the playoffs. Nothing will stop me. So I have to keep going, and hope for the best.”

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