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Ben Simmons expected to miss rest of season after knee surgery

Sixers PG is out indefinitely after undergoing procedure. Philly’s title chances take a big hit with Simmons out. Let’s break it down.

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots over Rui Hachimura of the Washington Wizards during the second half of an NBA basketball game at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 5, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers PG Ben Simmons is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing a procedure on his knee cap on Monday, the Sixers announced. Simmons injured his knee cap in the Sixers’ win over the Wizards last week, being forced to leave the game. Initial testing was positive with no swelling. An MRI later revealed a subluxation of the knee cap, which needed surgery to repair.

So the Sixers are in trouble with Simmons done for the year and Joel Embiid banged up right now with an ankle injury. We don’t even have title odds posted on DraftKings Sportsbook, likely because of the Simmons news. The Sixers are still listed at +2500 to win the Eastern Conference, though I wouldn’t touch any type of Philly futures bet right now. As the likely 6-seed in the East, the Sixers are looking at a matchup with the Boston Celtics in the first round. Chances are that series won’t last long if Simmons and Embiid are out.

We all thought the future was bright for Philly with this core getting a fresh start in the NBA bubble. They just can never stay healthy. It’s been one of the only things holding this team back. With the Sixers’ chances likely killed due to injuries again, you’d have to think Elton Brand and the front office are thinking about blowing things up and going in a different direction. Maybe if Embiid can get healthy and on the court, Philly will still have a chance to make some noise, but it isn’t likely. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says Embiid’s injury isn’t serious and he’s expected to be back.

Despite this report, Embiid is sort of made of glass. If the ankle doesn’t stay 100%, would the Sixers risk further injury to just keep the center on the court and save face? I doubt it. Why sacrifice the future for what will likely be an early playoff exit anyway. Chances are Embiid sits out the week and gets back in next week for the start of the postseason. We’ll see how the Sixers look without Simmons going up against a tough Celtics team (if that is the case).