After sitting in street clothes and watching his team lose Game 2, leveling the Heat/76ers first-round series, Joel Embiid vented on Instagram. He doesn’t want to be “babied” he wants to play. The Sixers, as is the franchise’s nature, is being cautious and thinking long term.
Embiid’s status for Game 3 is not yet known, and may not be until game time Thursday.
When he does return, he changes everything about this series, something I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. Just throw everything before it out, because matchups and style change. It’s not all positives for the Sixers either. Mostly Embiid’s return will bring better defense and another strong offensive option, it makes Philly demonstrably better, but the ball doesn’t whip around the Sixers offense the same way when he plays, and it gives the Heat a way to get Hassan Whiteside on the floor.
Until he does return, this series is a toss up and Miami has a shot to steal games.