Joel Embiid insists condition is all good amid early series return vs Celtics


Photo: Philadelphia 76ers/Twitter

Joel Embiid took the postgame podium of their Game 2 loss against the Boston Celtics and went on to admit that he is all geared up to play despite what was assumed to be an early return he made on Wednesday night from his LCL sprain in right knee. 

““I feel pretty good,” Embiid said in postgame. “I’m okay. It felt pretty good to go up and down a little bit and it feels pretty good. … There’s no excuses. I’m out here, so I’m good to play. We just got to be better as a team

After the Sixers have taken the Game 1 win last Monday even without him, many have thought he may likely to still sit down and take that ample time to recover in preparation for the pivotal Game 3 on Friday.

But the night after he was proclaimed as the league’s MVP for this 2022-23 recipient, he went on to play against the C’s. As such, he struggled from the floor and performed rusty with that 14-point output in an inconsistent 4-of-9 shooting to go with three boards, albeit tremendous defensively with those five blocks which he tallied in the first-half alone.

“The way we saw it, with what I have, I’m not gonna be – what I have is supposed to be out four-to-six weeks or something like that. So I’m not gonna be 100 percent for that whole time or I’m not gonna be fully healed for that whole time. I felt pretty good to play and I feel like I can help the team defensively and offensively,” said Embiid. 

“Obviously, offensively, I wasn’t as aggressive. I was just trying to let the game come to me and then defensively, just protecting the rim and I think I did a fine job when it comes to that.”

For Embiid, he opted to play for that chance by the Sixers to gain a commanding 2-0 series deficit against the Celtics even on the road. Though it turned out that Boston managed to respond and he played poorly, the reigning MVP got no such regrets of suiting up for his team when the opportunity was already in front for them.

“I just felt like being up 1-0 and having a chance to go up 2-0 against this type of team, I knew they were going to come at us,” Embiid explained. “I expected it, but you never know anything can happen so I just felt like it probably would have been the same result as far as how I’m feeling if I would’ve come back in Game 3. Probably rusty and not myself, but I feel like just got this out of the way.”

With the past two games already in the books, the superstar center is now focusing on Game 3 to power the 76ers in defending their home turf.

“Disappointed by the loss, but that’s a step towards getting back to myself and obviously, I got a lot of work to do,” Embiid concluded. “That starts tonight, and tomorrow to make sure I’m ready for Friday.”

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