The Philadelphia 76ers have encountered a myriad of problems this season. Despite having the best home record (27-2) in the league, they’re just 9-21 on the road. They’ve failed to live up to the preseason hype as they’ve had a lack of chemistry throughout the season along with numerous injuries. The Sixers will already be without Ben Simmons, sidelined with a back injury, for an undetermined amount of time. They were dealt another latest blow after Joel Embiid exited their eventual loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday with a sprained shoulder. 

Embiid has been ruled out for Thursday night’s game against the Knicks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and will also undergo an MRI on his left shoulder to determine how long he’ll be sidelined. The Sixers star center has already missed a chunk of time this season after tearing a ligament in his finger, which kept him out for nine games. During that span, the Sixers managed to stay afloat without him, going 6-3, but that’s when Simmons was healthy. With their two best players out, the Sixers’ flaws will only become more apparent depending on how long their two stars are out. 

For Embiid, this is just the latest speed bump in what has been a roller coaster of a season for the star center. His 49-point performance against the Atlanta Hawks earlier this week reminds you of the player he can be. However, there are the times where he lacks aggressiveness on offense, and doesn’t put forth enough effort on defense. He’s been booed by the 76ers faithful, and he’s been embroiled in trade rumors as well. Embiid’s up-and-down season has been a reason why many feel he and Simmons cannot coexist on the floor together. Couple that with the fact that Philadelphia lacks any real depth and consistent help beyond those two, and it creates the perfect storm for dysfunction and rumors. 

That lack of depth was tested in the loss to the Cavaliers, as Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson and Al Horford combined for just 30 points. That’s nowhere near enough to get past some of the worst teams in the league, so the question remains as to who will the Sixers be able to go to during this period of time. The silver lining in this, though, is that Philadelphia’s remaining schedule is the third-easiest in the league, with just six of its next 23 opponents possessing winning records. The down side is that nearly half of those games are on the road, where we’ve already established the Sixers are truly awful.