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If You're Joel Embiid Do You Force Your Way Onto The Court Tonight?

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers

We all know Embiid is frustrated. He feels like he’s ready to go and yet he’s missed the first two games of this series. That initially wasn’t that big of deal when the Sixers were dropping 130 and making the Heat look like a G League team. But then they came crashing back down to earth and dropped Game 2. Personally I was hoping the Sixers were just going to try and get by without Embiid, thinking that they may not need him in this series given the talent level difference of both teams. That he really was good to go but they figured why risk it. But then this tweet came out yesterday

To be honest, this news made me mad and I don’t even like the Sixers. I just want to see Embiid play some goddamn playoff basketball as a NBA fan, is that too much to ask? Well, as Game 3 approaches later tonight, we’re starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. In a story today on ESPN, there was this little nugget

All-Star center Joel Embiid hasn’t yet been cleared for full contact, but Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown says there is still a chance that Embiid can play in Game 3 of the team’s first-round series against the Miami Heat on Thursday. Embiid remains listed as doubtful. A final decision on his status is expected closer to tipoff on Thursday night.

Brown said that Embiid took “a little bit” of contact during practice on Wednesday, which he participated in while wearing a protective mask. Embiid was expected to participate in the team’s shootaround on Thursday morning.

Brown said before the shootaround that Embiid was progressing toward being cleared for full contact.

I get why the Sixers are being overly cautious with Embiid and his return to play, but this isn’t exactly the time of year to be overly cautious. You could make the argument that today’s game is the most important game of the series. History tells us that when two teams are tied 1-1 in a best of 7 series, the winner of Game 3 went on to win the series 73% of the time. This year the Sixers were pretty good on the road, finishing with a 22-19 record. The bad news is they were just 6-6 on the road without Embiid, and 4 of those wins came during the last week of the season where everyone was tanking. So you could make the argument they were 2-6 w/o Embiid on the road in games where teams were trying. That’s something that you can’t ignore.

Which is why if I’m Embiid, I am finding a way onto the court today. Not only is it big in terms of helping their odds to get out of the series, but we as basketball fans waited all damn year to see this guy go nuts in the playoffs, and he clearly wants to play. Let him throw on his mask and beat the shit out of Hassan Whiteside. If the Sixers were up 2-0 and feeling great I’d say there was no point, let things truly get to 110%. But in a tough playoff series where MIA suddenly has the momentum, it’s time for Brett Brown and the medical staff to take the handcuffs off and let Embiid do his thing.

I mean it’s not like this could help or anything