New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers overcame potentially team-crippling injuries, and now they face off in the playoffs

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New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics

Jalen Brunson and his teammates from New York didn’t let injuries bring them down. Joel Embiid from Philadelphia also didn’t allow his injury to keep him down.

It happened within days of each other in January when the Knicks and 76ers faced serious injuries that could have changed their seasons.

The Knicks were doing well, winning against other teams during one of their best months ever, when both starting forwards, Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, got injured on the same day. They both needed surgery and Randle, who was selected for the All-Star game, couldn’t play again.

Embiid got injured in the knee soon after and had to undergo surgery, causing the 76ers to drop in the Eastern Conference standings without knowing when their star player, the reigning NBA MVP, would return.

But both teams managed to recover, and now they’re entering the first-round playoff series with high momentum, starting Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

“I think that for us to be able to bounce back and do things when people think you couldn’t, that’s the nature of our team,” Brunson said about the No. 2-seeded Knicks. “A lot of people had doubted us in the past, but we always find a way to prevail.”

Philadelphia 76ers

The Knicks won their last five games, finishing the season with a 50-32 record, surpassing Milwaukee on the final day of the regular season for their best finish since 2012-13 when they won 54 games and earned the No. 2 seed.

They found out their opponent three nights later when the 76ers beat Miami 105-104 in a play-in game, earning the No. 7 seed.

Embiid didn’t play at his best due to his injury, but he finished strong, showing why the 76ers are a dangerous team, especially when he’s on the court.

They won their last eight games of the regular season, with Embiid playing in five of them after returning on April 2, ending with a 47-35 record.

The 7-footer only played in one of the 76ers’ three losses to the Knicks in the regular season, but he missed the games where the Knicks won by 14 in February and 27 on March 12. The Knicks also won by 36 in Philadelphia on Jan. 5, the game where Embiid did play.

That was just after the Knicks added Anunoby through a trade with Toronto, starting a run of 14 wins out of 16 games in January.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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