After going up 3-0 in their first-round series, everything was looking good for the Sixers. They took the court Monday night with a chance to sweep the Wizards and have a week to rest and regroup for the second round.
Things took a turn for the worst in the first half. Joel Embiid had an awkward fall after trying to dunk on a drive to the rim. While Embiid returned for a short stint to close the half, he did not return after halftime.
The MVP finalist was ruled out during the halftime intermission with right knee soreness. This was rather shocking news after Embiid was clutching his back after hitting the floor.
There has yet to be an official update on Embiid's status since the injury update at halftime in game four. Doc Rivers was asked about it after the game but had no information to pass on at the time.
Embiid is set to undergo an MRI on Tuesday, but one rumor suggests it is primarily out of precaution. John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia has reported that the belief was Embiid would be fine, that the MRI is to fully make sure.
We still await word from the team on Embiid's status for Game 5, but this is an encouraging update. It might have cost them Game 4, but the team did the right thing by not letting him return to the action.
The Sixers have a good chance of advancing to the next round. Rushing Embiid out to secure the sweep could have had a negative long-term impact.
The Sixers will need Embiid healthy on the floor if they plan on making a run at a championship. Going through all the necessary steps to confirm there is no serious damage to Embiid's knee is undoubtedly the correct move.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.