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Sixers’ Joel Embiid played through ankle injury in playoffs

Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Sixers

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers were already entering their first-round series against the Boston Celtics at a disadvantage from a health perspective.

Sixers guard Ben Simmons was already out for the playoffs after suffering a knee injury during the seeding games, depriving Philly of one of its top playmakers and best perimeter defender.

Tobias Harris suffered an eye laceration during the third quarter of Game 4 on Sunday, prompting a 9-0 run from the Celtics that essentially sealed the win and series sweep.

However, it seems there were even more issues going on behind the scenes.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown revealed that star center Embiid played through an ankle injury for the entirety of the series.

Brown said he and JoJo communicated frequently regarding his status, though the Cameroonian big man was determined to play through the pain.

Joel Embiid looked noticeably tired in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s series finale. He labored on the glass and was doubled down at the free-throw line.

But Embiid still gave the compromised Sixers a Herculean effort. He posted a double-double in all four games, going for at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in each of the last three games. He also averaged over 36 minutes per game despite the injury.

Ultimately, Philly simply did not get enough production from the supporting cast.

Harris and guard Josh Richardson both struggled to shoot the ball efficiently, and Philly lacked perimeter shooting outside of Shake Milton. Now, the Sixers will head into the offseason with a number of questions as they begin preparations for the 2020-21 season.