The Philadelphia 76ers were already very thin on the wings when they entered a win-or-go-home Game 6 against the Miami Heat. That situation grew even more dire in the first quarter when they lost one of their few two-way perimeter players. Danny Green is out for the remainder of Game 6 after suffering an injury to his left knee, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the team is worried that the injury could be significant. The 76ers went on to lose 99-90, ending their season after falling in six games to the Heat.
The play itself came early in the first quarter. Philadelphia center Joel Embiid went up for a difficult layup, and afterward, he fell to the ground. Sadly, Green was in his way, and Embiid seemed to accidentally roll into his teammate’s knee. Green was immediately removed from the game and appeared to be in serious pain.
The 76ers are a team build largely around one-dimensional players. They can get away with offense-first starters like James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris in part because they have defenders like Green on their roster to support them. Without Green, a much greater burden falls on young wing Matisse Thybulle. The difference between the two, though, is that Green is a stellar shooter. Thybulle struggles in virtually every area on offense.
Green, a three-time champion with three different teams, will turn 35 next month. At his age, a significant injury could meaningfully impact the remainder of his career. His contract is not guaranteed for next season either. This is therefore a nightmare scenario for both him and the 76ers. Hopefully the MRI is more promising than the team initially suspects.