76ers Optimistic That Joel Could Return by Game 3 or 4

76ers Raptors Basketball
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid receives attention from team trainers after taking an elbow to the head from Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam during the second half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

There may be hope yet for the 76ers as it was recently announced that Joel Embiid might be able to return by the time the series returns to Philly. When Shams Charania broke the news that All-Star and the rightful MVP Joel Embiid suffered a right orbital fracture and a mild concussion, all of Philadelphia mourned the loss. Embiid had done so much for the 76ers this season, and the future without him was dark.

However, like a candle being lit in the dead of night, some positive news came out from none other than Woj. There is hope for the 76ers season still, as there is optimism that the Cameroonian star center could come back against the Miami Heat as soon as game 3

Some might feel like they’re experiencing deja vu with a Joel Embiid orbital fracture before a Miami Heat playoff series. That’s because, in the 2018 playoffs, Embiid suffered the same injury before playing the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. While Embiid did end up playing against the Heat in the final three games of the series, masked Embiid relied heavily on his teammates in that series.

This year is a different story. In the 2017-2018 season, Embiid was good, averaging 22.9 points per game while shooting 48.3% from the field, but he was still not dominant. This year, on the other hand, Embiid has continued his dominance from last season.

In nearly every statistical category that exists, Embiid has improved since the last time he played the Heat in the playoffs. This would make it seem as though his absence this time might be filled more deeply, especially with how good this Miami Heat team is. Embiid led the entire league in scoring, averaging 30.6 points per game while still shooting nearly 50% from the field at 49.9%. Embiid also has become an above-average three-point shooter, shooting 37.1% from deep.

Yet, thanks to the many moves made by President Daryl Morey, the 76ers may actually be able to survive a few games without Joel Embiid, who is already dealing with a torn ligament in his right hand. With superstar James Harden and rising star Tyrese Maxey ready to pick up the slack, the Sixers are set up as best they can be while awaiting the return of Joel Embiid.