76ers center Joel Embiid now probable for Game 3 versus Heat
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 20, 2018 06:51 AM
FILE - UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 11: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots the ball during the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets on October 11, 2017 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — Joel Embiid is apparently done with Philadelphia’s latest process.
Listed as doubtful in the morning, Embiid was upgraded to probable by the 76ers on Thursday afternoon (Friday, PHL time) — hours before Game 3 of the Philadelphia-Miami Eastern Conference first-round series.
Embiid participated in the team’s morning shootaround, and apparently coach Brett Brown saw enough from his All-Star center to approve his return.
“We like what we have seen over the past few days,” Brown said.
Embiid has missed Philadelphia’s last 10 games while recovering from a concussion and surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone around his left eye. He’s no longer in the NBA’s concussion protocol, and took to social media after Philadelphia’s Game 2 loss to Miami to announce that he is “sick and tired of being babied.”
Translated: Embiid was declaring himself ready to play, and now the 76ers agree. So does the NBA, in the sense that the league needed to approve the style of mask that Embiid will wear to protect his face.
Embiid wore his protective mask and went through practice Wednesday, getting used to contact again. His initial playoff appearance this year will be the first postseason game of his career.
“I want Joel Embiid in this mix,” Brown said. “He has a chance to make us different. ... He is as driven and as competitive as any player that I’ve been around.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Miami was prepared for the possibility that Embiid would play Thursday (Friday, PHL time).
“You can’t spend too much time on an uncertainty,” Spoelstra said. “But you have to spend a little bit of time.”
Embiid averaged 22.9 points and 11 rebounds in 63 games this season.