Sixers All-star Joel Embiid set to return for series opener against Atlanta

NBA: MAY 05 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 3 – Celtics at 76ers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) celebrates after a dunk in the first half during the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Sixers are just moments away from tipping off against the Atlanta Hawks and will go into the game with a huge boost of momentum. All-star Center Joel Embiid is reportedly set to return to the lineup (per Adrian Wojnarowski).

Embiid had been playing some of the best ball of his career prior to tearing his meniscus and being listed as day-to-day in the penultimate game against Washington. After missing just one match where the team were able to hold the fort and secure the series win, he’ll be back in the starting lineup.

Without any structural damage, confidence surrounding Embiid’s return this postseason was high. Getting him back so early is obviously dent to the Hawks’ hopes of getting past the second round. While he’s returning to the starting lineup, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Dwight Howard take on a major role to begin with. Matching up against Clint Capela is no easy task and he actually leads the NBA in rebounding percentage. Dwight’s physical style of play will no doubt clash with Capela to create a fiery matchup, but he’ll need to manage that risk and avoid getting into foul trouble, while knowing if he plays too conservatively, Capela may be the one Center who can really punish him for it.

Joel Embiid averaged a stunning 28.5 points this season along with 10.6 rebounds. When he hit the postseason, his MVP form continued as he poured in 36 points over the Wizards in game 3 prior to taking the knock.

The Sixers are back to full strength for this afternoon’s matchup, where they’ll host the Hawks in around 10 minutes.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire