Friday, May 5, 2023

Joel Embiid upgraded from 'questionable' to available ahead of Game 3

Joel Embiid has been upgraded from questionable to available ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers hosting the Celtics in tonight's Game 3 at Wells Fargo Center.

The newly crowned league MVP returned in the Sixers 121-87 Game 2 loss to Boston Wednesday night, as the Eastern Conference semifinals is tied 1-1.

According to 76ers head coach Doc Rivers, Embiid had "very little swelling" in his knee following recording 15 points on 4-of-9 from the field, three rebounds and five blocks in 27 minutes of action.
"He looked good, and his numbers were great," Rivers said in his post-practice presser Thursday afternoon. "We didn't play well, but just the speed that he reached, you know, his explosions, they were very close to normal. So that was great for us to see.
"And, more importantly, great for him to be able to do it and see that he can do it, and then have very little swelling or anything like that. So that's what we needed to find out. 
"Obviously we didn't win the game. But that's important for us."
Embiid returned for the first time since April 20 after sustaining a LCL sprain in his right knee, but looked rusty and out-of-sync, especially on offense. The Sixers never got into any sort of rhythm and James Harden -- who tied a playoff-high 45 points in Game 1 -- only notched 12 points and 10 assists in Game 2. 
"We didn't play well," Rivers said. "I thought their ball pressure took us out of everything. It wouldn't have mattered if Joel was there or not. We would have had a tough offensive night, you know, with the way we allowed them to play inside of us. They pushed us all around. They rolled us off of spots. We couldn't get organized because of their pressure. So we'll be better."
As this second-round best-of-7 series shifts to Philly for Game 3, Rivers and the Sixers hope their home crowd makes an impact, as Embiid will be given his Most Valuable Player trophy before tip-off.

Celtics guard Marcus Smart, fresh off his second straight NBA Hustle Award, was asked what should his teammates expect from Sixers fans Friday night.
"Crazy, chaotic," Smart said to reporters after shootaround Friday "Joel, a well-deserved MVP, getting his trophy tonight. We expect this crowd to be electrifying. We expect those guys to be ready"
A pivotal Game 3 between the Celtics and 76ers gets underway tonight at 7:30 ET on ESPN.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy Getty Images

No comments:

Post a Comment