The Philadelphia 76ers have not revealed whether Joel Embiid will be able to return for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals due to a sprained right knee. Despite the 76ers completing a sweep of the Brooklyn Nets to provide an opportunity for Embiid to rest up, he missed Game 4 due to the knee injury and has yet to practice. Coach Doc Rivers said Embiid was at a doctor’s exam while the team practiced, and they will wait to see where he’s at before deciding on his return.
Embiid, 29, won his second straight scoring title this season, averaging 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He played in 66 games, the second-highest total of his career but has missed games in previous playoffs due to various injuries. With the Hawks-Celtics series going six games, Rivers says the extended series has increased the chances of Embiid playing in Game 1 in the next round.
Embiid averaged 36.8 points and 11.8 rebounds in four games against the Boston Celtics this season. While the 76ers have been playing well without their All-Star center, his presence will undoubtedly boost their defense and scoring. Without him, they will need to rely on their depth to secure a victory against the Celtics. The 76ers are looking to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001, and Embiid’s return could be the push they need to get there.