The Philadelphia 76ers are happy to be moving onto the second round of the 2023 NBA playoffs. But they are more than happy to wait for the next round as Joel Embiid recovers from a knee sprain that cost him Game 4 of the first round. The Sixers surely hope the big man can return as soon as possible — and their wish is not totally outside the realm of possibility.
After sweeping the Brooklyn Nets, Doc Rivers put Embiid’s chances of starting the second round healthy at 50 percent. Shams Charania said on FanDuelTV’s show “Run It Back” that the big man could make it back to the court for the start of the Sixers’ next playoff game.
“There is optimism that he’ll be able to play in Game 1 of their next series… He had a sprained knee and I think they believed this is about a 1 week injury”@ShamsCharania with the latest on Joel Embiid’s injury #RunItBack #BrotherlyLove pic.twitter.com/MfdRDrBa6l
— FanDuel TV (@FanDuelTV) April 24, 2023
“There is optimism that he’ll be able to play in Game 1 of their next series against Boston — I assume — or Atlanta,” Charania said. “He had a sprained knee and I think they believed this is about a one-week injury. So, assuming the [next round of the] playoffs start this upcoming weekend, the hope is that Joel Embiid will be in the lineup. He went down a few times in that Nets Game 3 but thankfully it wasn’t anything major.”
The NBA announced on Sunday when the Sixers’ second-round series could begin depending on the outcome of the series between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks. Should the Celtics complete the gentleman’s sweep on Tuesday, the Sixers-Celtics series will start on Saturday, April 29. But if the Hawks push it to six or seven games, the first game of the Sixers’ next series will begin on Monday, May 1.
As painful as it would be to lend support to the team that delivered the most embarrassing playoff defeat of Joel Embiid’s career, Sixers fans are likely hoping that Trae Young and the Hawks can buy Embiid a few more days of rest before the second round begins.
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