Sixers coach Doc Rivers used that phrase to describe his thoughts on the status of injured center Joel Embiid.
And those same words just might describe how Sixers fans are feeling about their team.
Even without Embiid, who is day-to-day with a small meniscus tear in his right knee, the Philadelphia 76ers closed out the Washington Wizards with a 129-112 victory in Game 5 Wednesday night.
Philadelphia will face Atlanta in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, starting with Game 1 at 1 p.m. Sunday in Philadelphia.
And in this week’s installment of Penn Sportsbooks‘ Pick Play, we’ll cover all the pa sports betting odds for Game 1 and the rest of the series to get you ready for it all.
Sixers favored in Game 1 even with Embiid’s uncertain status
At press time, the Sixers are 2.5-point favorites for Sunday’s game at FOX Bet Sportsbook PA with a moneyline price of -143. Atlanta is +110 and the game’s total is set at 220.5.
Of course, the biggest question surrounds Embiid, whose presence (or lack thereof) is certain to swing the point spread a little bit once it becomes more clear.
Asked about Embiid following Wednesday’s game, Rivers said he expects the center back sometime this postseason.
“I don’t know when or how early,” Rivers said in a ESPN article. “I’m hopeful. I think that’s a better way of putting it.”
FOX Bet has a wealth of wagers available on Game 1, including alternate spreads/totals, game parlays, bets on quarters/halves, and the winning margin as well.
In futures betting, Philadelphia is -188 to win the series. Atlanta is +155. And FOX Bet has boosted a wager on the Sixers to win the series 4-2 at a price of +500.
In the other Eastern Conference semifinal, the Nets are -213 to win their series with Milwaukee. The Bucks are +175.
Sportsbooks favor Nets, Bucks over Sixers in futures betting
All of this sets up a potentially difficult matchup for the Sixers if they advance. In fact, Philadelphia is currently third in Eastern Conference futures. The Nets are the favorites at -138, followed by the Bucks at +260. The Sixers are third at +450. The Hawks are considered a longshot at +1200.
Atlanta advanced to the second round after beating the Knicks 4-1. Point guard Trae Young was the focal point of the Hawks’ offense, scoring above 30 points three times in the series.
Young might be guarded by Ben Simmons at times in the upcoming games, which could be an effective matchup for the Sixers. Simmons is not only one of the best defenders in the league, but his length (Simmons is listed as 6-11), might present some problems for the undersized Young (he’s only 6-1).
On offense, Philadelphia will lean on Simmons, who had a triple double in Game 5 against Washington, along with Tobias Harris and Seth Curry – especially until Embiid returns.
But it’s possible Embiid could be on the court for Game 1. The Sixers and their process might be back online.
And who knows where it might go from there.
Many are hopeful.
Image via Dreamstime.