76ers' Joel Embiid Reveals He Gets 6 Treatments a Day for Knee Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2019

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 27:  Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during warm up, prior to Game One of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on April 27, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is taking drastic measures to ensure he's healthy enough to play against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA playoffs.

Embiid told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan he was going through six separate treatment sessions daily on his left knee. The two-time All-Star added he sets his alarm for 5 a.m. ET to begin the regimen.

"Normally, sleep helps me a lot," he said. "But right now sleep is secondary. I've got to take care of my body. I'll sleep later."

In addition to the knee treatment, 76ers coach Brett Brown revealed Embiid received IV fluids before the team's Game 2 94-89 win over the Raptors.

Embiid missed Philadelphia's Game 3 win over the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. In his four appearances during the series, he averaged 24.3 minutes per game in the series, a noticeable drop from his usage in the regular season (33.4 minutes).

Prior to the start of the second round, Embiid indicated he wanted to see the floor a little more.

"But, we did a good job managing it," he told reporters. "Obviously I only averaged about 24 minutes last series, so this one I'm definitely going to need way more than that."

He played 30 minutes in his team's 108-95 Game 1 defeat to Toronto.

No player is more important to the Sixers than Embiid. Philadelphia had an 8.0 net rating with him on the court during the regular season, per NBA.com. The team's net rating fell to minus-3.3 when he was on the bench.

Philadelphia has a serious shot at winning the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2001. At the same time, the team's title window should extend beyond 2019. Embiid and the Sixers coaching staff have to balance their quest for a Finals appearance against their long-term future.

Embiid is only in the first year of his five-year, $147.7 million extension. Although general manager Elton Brand accelerated the franchise's timeline by acquiring Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, he can't lose sight of the bigger picture.

Pushing Embiid beyond his physical limits isn't worth it if the effects linger long beyond this postseason.