Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Report: Joel Embiid to return for Game 2 vs. Celtics barring any setbacks

The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to have Joel Embiid back in their lineup for Game 2 against the Celtics tonight, barring any setback -- according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Sixers superstar, who was just named the NBA's Most Valuable Player Tuesday night, reportedly informed teammates of his possible return during a quick celebration after it was announced he had won the award. 

Embiid participated in the 76ers shootaround Wednesday morning -- Per ESPN -- which was the first time since sustaining a sprained LCL in his right knee back on April 20  in Game 3 of Philly's first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets.

Embiid went through a full workout Tuesday, following the 76ers 119-115 Game 1 win over Boston to take a 1-0 best-of-7 second-round series lead Monday night. While the veteran big's knee responded well to the workout, his potential return would be based on how he felt the next day. 
"It's just health-based," Sixers coach Doc Rivers said during Tuesday afternoon's presser. "If he can play, he plays. If he can't, he can't.

"And if it's 50-50, we would probably on the other side [and not have him play], because we've done that all year."
If Embiid's pregame shootaround goes well without any incident, he should be back in the 76ers starting lineup alongside James Harden -- who's coming off a 45-point performance -- with an huge opportunity to take 2-0 Eastern Conference semifinals lead over the Celtics at TD Garden.
"Every single year, there's always something freaky happening, and that's ok," said Embiid during Wednesday morning's presser. "Obviously it's hard dealing with another's earlier than we thought considering what I had, but I'm just glad to be able to go up and down and see how I feel."
Embiid led the NBA in scoring with 33.1 points per contest and becomes the first 76er to win league MVP since Allen Iverson during the 2000-01 campaign. He received 73 first place votes, followed by a distanced second in Nikola Jokic, who received 15 first place votes. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished third, while Jayson Tatum ended up fourth in votes.

Game 2 between the Celtics and Sixers will tip-off Wednesday night at 8:00 ET on TNT.

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