The Philadelphia 76ers’ worst fears have become a reality
This past Wednesday, Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons left the team’s seeding game against the Washington Wizards after suffering an awkward knee injury. After undergoing an MRI, which came back negative, the 76ers announced that Simmons suffered a subluxation of the left patella. Even with this news, there was no timetable for his return, as the guard was evaluating his options, but the answer came on Saturday.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Simmons will undergo surgery on his left knee, which essentially knocked him out for the remainder the 2019-20 NBA season restart unless the Sixers make a very deep run.
Simmons’ injury eerily similar to Andrew Bynum’s back in 2008
Upon hearing about Simmons’ dislocated left kneecap, some recalled that former Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum suffered the very same injury back in 2008. Bynum sat on the sidelines from January of that year before opting to undergo season-ending arthroscopic surgery that May, effectively knocking him out of the Lakers’ playoff run.
Simmons has averaged 16.4 points, 8.0 assists and 7.8 rebounds while shooting an impressive 58% from the field.
The 76ers guard-forward hybrid will leave the bubble to get medical attention, meaning any possible return would not only have to require a doctor’s approval, but a quarantine as well. Odds are, this is the last we’ve seen of Simmons this season unless the 76ers defy circumstances and make a deep run.
This is the worst possible scenario for the 76ers, who are currently tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with the Indiana Pacers. Now that Simmons is going under the knife, it’s hard to envision the Sixers getting past the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors or Boston Celtics once the playoffs commence in the coming days.
It’s Joel Embiid’s team now. Can he deliver?