Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid put up a huge performance in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks but even that wasn't enough for his team to score a win. Embiid, who was a game-time decision due to a knee injury, posted 39 points and also had nine rebounds and three blocks in a 128-124 loss to the Hawks.
"Playing on a torn meniscus is not easy," the Sixers star said, per ESPN. "All I got to do is keep managing it. Do my best. Get as much treatment as I can. Try to manage it to make sure that it doesn't swell up too much. Obviously, the pain is going to be there.
That's normal. "But it's all about managing it, doing whatever it takes to win. Because my goal is to win the championship. I'm going to put my body on the line to make sure that happens. I'm going to give everything I got." After being down 26, the Sixers reduced the deficit to three points inside the last minute but the Hawks managed to escape with a win.
"Up until the last five minutes, things were going pretty well," Atlanta guard Kevin Huerter said. "Thank God we were up 20. Just too many turnovers."
Embiid was subbed out late in the game
"I didn't like him in, even though we had to have him in," Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said.
"But when we were trapping and running around in that last three minutes and obviously we made a run, I did not like him on the floor at that point because I didn't want him doing those things, if you want to be honest. That's why we told him to just stand back.
Because those are the ones that you get injured on." But Embiid disagreed with his coach's views. "I can adjust to any style of play. We just played Washington that played fast. This team, they were physical. They play fast. I can adjust to it.
It's the playoffs," he said. "You can't worry about how many minutes someone is supposed to play or is going to play. You got to go with your best guys." Embiid is determined to keep playing through the injury. "As long as I'm OK to be out there and I'm going to give my best and I'm going to keep pushing until I can't," he said.
"But as long as I'm out there, I'm going to play hard. I'm going to dive for loose balls. I'm going to do whatever it takes to win."