Is 76ers’ Joel Embiid playing tonight (May 1) in Game 1 vs Celtics?


Philadelphia 76ers center and projected MVP winner Joel Embiid (right knee) is doubtful for Monday night’s Game 1 matchup against the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

Monday morning, the six-time All-Star underwent platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections on his injured right LCL. Embiid suffered this injury in Game 3 of the Sixers’ first-round series versus the Brooklyn Nets.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the 76ers have sixth-shortest odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Golden State Warriors.

“There is no latest. Obviously, doctors looked at him. … He didn’t do anything today. I’ll say this: If I was a betting man, I would probably say doubtful, but we’ll see,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said following Saturday’s practice.

“He didn’t do any running or anything like that. He just did some shooting and stuff. He’s better. … He’s progressing,” added the veteran coach. “There’s been optimism all along. You also got to be realistic. I just don’t know. He’s still doubtful, but he’s improving daily and that’s good for us.”

76ers center Joel Embiid (right knee) is doubtful for Monday night’s Game 1 matchup against the Celtics at TD Garden

On Monday, the 76ers center was spotted lacing up his shoes at the team’s shootaround at TD Garden. While Embiid is listed as doubtful for Game 1, there’s still a slim chance the four-time All-NBA member could play. Danuel House Jr. (illness) was also upgraded to probable.

Postseason injuries are nothing new for Embiid. During the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, he suffered a meniscus tear in Game 4 against the Washington Wizards, which sidelined him for Game 5.

Last season, Embiid suffered a concussion and orbital bone fracture in the 76ers’ first-round series versus the Toronto Raptors. These injuries caused him to miss the first two games of their second-round series against the Miami Heat. Philadelphia went on to lose the series 4-2.

Through three starts this postseason, the 7-foot big man is averaging 20 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.3 blocks, 1.0 steal, and 36 minutes per game. Plus, Embiid is shooting 46.2% from the field and a career-best 95.8% at the foul line.

Philadelphia is entering Game 1 against the Celtics on a six-game win streak. The 76ers are 4-1 in their last five road games. However, the Sixers are 1-4 in their past five meetings versus Boston. And the Celtics are 9-1 in their previous 10 home games.

Per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Celtics have a 55.9% chance of defeating Philadelphia at TD Garden. Sportsbooks show the 76ers as heavy 10-point underdogs. Oddsmakers are expecting Joel Embiid to miss at least one game of this second-round series.

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