Joel Embiid officially listed as out for Game 1 vs. Heat

Wearing a protective mask because of a recent facial injury Sixers center Joel Embiid takes a break during the NBA basketball team's practice in Camden N.J. Friday

Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers odds: tv channel schedule, preview, spread

Embiid is used to sitting out with the Sixers - he missed his first two seasons with a broken foot and played just 31 games last season because of a knee injury. Even the champions couldn't overcome that, dropping six of their final 10 games, but they start against a San Antonio team whose injury problems are every bit as bad, assuming Kawhi Leonard doesn't return after missing nearly the entire season. Embiid said it is "unlikely but still a chance" that he plays in the Sixers' first playoff game this weekend.David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty ImagesMark Sobhani/NBAE/Getty ImagesIrving has worn a mask not once, but twice.

Philadelphia is the hottest team in the postseason, winning its final 16 games to finish 52-30.

The Cavaliers or Raptors are likely to be one of the finalists in the Eastern Conference Finals and in all honesty that would probably be a hurdle too big for this Sixers team to overcome at the moment.

Despite the reputation of a young team, these Sixers have a veteran presence about them. The Sixers have won every game without him since he suffered a facial fracture on March 29, and have plenty of talent to hold the fort down until his return.

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With Irving out for the rest of the season due to injury, the Celtics who are already without their star forward Gordon Hayward, look a far more beatable side.

The Heat (44-38) have been consistent throughout the season, staying near the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff picturefor most of the year. That game will be 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

While the Sixers played well without Embiid in the closing weeks of the season, the playoffs will be a whole other animal. In the game against the Cavaliers, he was "Lebron-esque" in a sense, taking command of the game late and leading the team to victory, even though the Cavs nearly came back. "When you get into the coaching rhythm you're not really aware of statistics and I wasn't aware that he was that close to a triple-double".

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