Minutes after the Sixers’ 125-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls concluded, the Nets finished off the Heat in their own regular season finale, locking us in for a Philadelphia-Brooklyn first-round playoff series. So we knew the who, but still needed to know the when. It took a few hours, but the NBA made sure we would all wake up Thursday morning knowing when to tell our loved ones we’d need to be by a television.
Here are the dates for the first round between the Sixers and Nets, with times known for the initial four games:
Game 1: Saturday, 4/13, 2:30pm EST, in Philadelphia (ESPN; NBCSP)
Game 2: Monday, 4/15, 8:00pm EST, in Philadelphia (TNT; NBCSP)
Game 3: Thursday, 4/18, 8:00pm EST, in Brooklyn (TNT; NBCSP)
Game 4: Saturday, 4/20, 3:00pm EST, in Brooklyn (TNT; NBCSP)
Game 5: Tuesday, 4/23, time TBD, in Philadelphia, (TBD; NBCSP) - if necessary
Game 6: Thursday, 4/25, time TBD, in Brooklyn, (TBD; NBCSP) - if necessary
Game 7: Saturday, 4/27, time TBD, in Philadelphia, (TNT; NBCSP) - if necessary
As a reminder, the Sixers split the season series with Brooklyn, 2-2, but destroyed the Nets recently at home in the only game with rosters as currently constructed.
11/4/18: Brooklyn 122, Philadelphia 97, away game
11/25/18: Philadelphia 127, Brooklyn 125, away game
12/12/18: Brooklyn 127, Philadelphia 124, home game
3/28/19: Philadelphia 123, Brooklyn 110, home game
We’ll have a ton of coverage in the couple days leading up to Saturday afternoon’s opener. For now, the major open question concerns the health of Joel Embiid. Last night, Elton Brand said he was “optimistic” that Embiid would be ready for this weekend, but conceded it was “possible” he would not be available. After the Bulls game, Brett Brown reiterated that he expected to have all his starters available, and after growing a bit frustrated with multiple versions of essentially the same question regarding Joel’s availability, said the team would provide the information via the normal injury report.
My personal feeling (and again, this is pure conjecture) is that Embiid will play, but the team knows the extent of the knee soreness and he is clearly not 100 percent. For a Sixers club that has looked the part of a true contender when Embiid is available, and average, at best, otherwise, Joel not firing on all cylinders is the surest way to ensure they fail to reach the lofty goals they have set for themselves. We’ll know more in the days to come.