Sixers’ Joel Embiid Puts Up Shots, But Will Need ‘Miracle’ to Play in Game 1

Star center Joel Embiid is hoping to return for the 76ers’ East semifinal series vs. the Celtics, though Monday’s Game 1 is not looking good.Joel Embiid John Collins

Embiid received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his injured right knee, per Shams Charania of The Athletic, via FanDuel TV. Still, Embiid is listed as doubtful for Game 1, and his status for Game 2 is also likely up in the air.

Embiid has done some shooting at practice, but has not been running. Per Charania, it would be a “miracle” if Embiid were able to play in Game 1.

Embiid did participate in shootaround this morning, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

But again, it seems like a longshot the MVP candidate will be available for Game 1, and that can only be considered a gift for the Celtics. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.

“He did a little bit more,” coach Doc Rivers told reporters of Embiid at Sunday’s practice. “Not much. He didn’t do any running or anything like that, but just did some shooting. So he’s better. He’s progressing.”

Meanwhile, the Celtics say they will prepare differently, obviously, if the Sixers don’t have Embiid.

“It doesn’t change our mindset,” guard Malcolm Brogdon said, via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “It does change our game plan. That’s a team that’s built around Joel, everything he does. All the isos and just a high level of scoring, and now that scoring is going to be a little bit dispersed.”

Embiid sustained the knee injury in Game 3 of the first-round series vs. the Nets. He finished that game but missed the next, which the Sixers won for a first-round sweep.

Per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Embiid could wear a knee brace when he does return.

Clearly, Embiid’s absence is a major loss for the Sixers, considered the underdog in the series. An NBA MVP finalist, Embiid averaged a league-high 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. That included averages of a whopping 36.8 points and 11.8 rebounds against the Celtics.

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