Ranking each Eastern Conference playoff team based on their best player

Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks
Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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3. Philadelphia 76ers

Best player: Joel Embiid

The curious case of Benjamin Button? It should be the curious case of Joel Embiid. Before going down with a knee injury at the end of January, Embiid was averaging 35 PPG and 13 rebounds and the Sixers were a top-three seed in the East. He was well on his way to another MVP.

Embiid then missed the next two months due to his injury and now that the playoffs have started, he still does not look healthy. He had an injury scare in game one against the Knicks after a thunderous dunk and it looked like he was done for the series. Against all odds, though, he came out and played the second half. Embiid is limping around and still averaging 32 points, nine rebounds, and six assists through two games, but Philly is down 0-2.

Embiid also has had a reputation of coming up small in big playoff moments, as last season he experienced the largest point per game drop in NBA history for an MVP (33 in the regular season to 24 in the playoffs). He also only scored 15 points in Game 7 against the Celtics last season.

The thing is, Embiid has never been healthy for a full postseason, including this one. He always seems to be hurt during this time of year, including this year. He would be higher on this list if he was healthy. The knee injury may be limiting him a bit, but his numbers are still great through two games nonetheless. Now the challenge is this: does he have enough to lead the Sixers back from this 0-2 hole? Which leads to the next player…