Joel Embiid's impending return has put an ominous streak on the Philadelphia 76ers' eight-game winning streak, the largest streak since 2003; as he is slated to miss two to four weeks after undergoing surgery for an orbital fracture and passing the concussion protocol.
Yet instead of looking to put the pressure on the faulty Cleveland Cavaliers for the third spot in the East, head coach Brett Brown has remained level-headed, hoping his team can keep the ship afloat before Embiid's return.
“We are excited to feel like something with uncover, something will unfold that we might not had seen otherwise,” said Brown, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Just buy some time, continue to win games and try to get a home-court advantage and buy some time for the return of Joel Embiid.”
The Sixers have not only railed eight victories in a row, but could extend their streak to double digits with winnable games on the road against the Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Hornets, only to return home to face the Brooklyn Nets.
Out of their eight remaining games, the only ones against playoff competition will be a pivotal one against the Cavs on Friday, Apr. 6 and the season finale against the Milwaukee Bucks, who are hanging on for their playoff lives in the eighth spot.
If the Sixers can secure a top-four finish in the East, they'll enter the first round of the postseason with a home court advantage, which could play a major factor with Embiid's awaited recovery.