Joel Embiid injures knee after incredible off-the-backboard dunk

The basketball gods hate Philadelphia.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are a contender with Joel Embiid on the floor. The universe just doesn't seem to want the star big man out there.

Embiid returned from a knee injury that kept him out for much of the regular season just in time to lead the Sixers into the playoffs. But Saturday's Game 1 matchup with the Knicks took a heartbreaking turn when he appeared to aggravate the same knee.

Worst of all, the injury came on a dunk that proved what an explosive scorer Embiid can be.

Embiid alley-ooped off the backboard to himself for a highlight dunk that would have sent NBA Twitter into ecstacy if not for the immediate worry that descended when he went down holding his knee.

The play essentially sums up Embiid's season. He's capable of the spectacular but injury always seems to take the shine off.

If ever a player was snakebitten for the playoffs, it's Embiid.

Joel Embiid injury update: 76ers star went back to lockerroom

The Knicks didn't have an update on Embiid immediately after the injury. But his eyes as he lay on the court said a lot.

The best-case scenario for Philadelphia is if he just tweaked the knee slightly. Considering what he's gone through this season, his reaction might just be one of overreaction.

Of course, there's always the possibility he seriously re-injured the knee on that dunk. Everyone in Philly and around the league is crossing their fingers and hoping that's not the case.

Embiid had 18 points, five rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes of action.

UPDATE: Embiid returned to action in the second half, suggesting that his knee wasn't significantly injured after the dunk.

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