Tuesday night was quite something for Sixers fans. Joel Embiid was officially named as the 2022-23 NBA MVP, giving him the achievement he so deserved after putting together three straight years of MVP-level play.
Now, we have more good news, this time in the form of his possible availability for Wednesday’s Game 2 against the Celtics. As Shams Charania has now reported, “Embiid is indeed on track to return tonight” as long as there aren’t any setbacks.
After winning MVP last night, during a quick 76ers celebration, Joel Embiid turned to the team and said: “I’m back.”— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 3, 2023
Embiid is indeed on track to return tonight in Game 2 vs. Celtics barring setbacks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
The latest official injury report still technically has Embiid listed as doubtful with his right knee sprain, but this insight from Charania is a huge step in the right direction for the big fella and the Sixers. While Embiid will obviously go through his typical pregame, shootaround preparations to check he’s ready to go, it certainly sounds very likely that he’ll be making his return as the Sixers try to take a 2-0 series lead.
What a two days it’s been for Philadelphia. The Sixers’ Game 1 performance, led by James Harden’s 45-point masterclass, was hugely impressive and gave them an upset, Embiid-less win on the road that no one really saw coming. As LB’s Paul Hudrick discussed so well in this piece, it’s just the sort of game that they never usually win. This year’s team is different, though. They’re not just deeper and simply better than before, but stronger mentally as well.
Add Embiid’s MVP win to Monday’s victory and all the wholesome celebration and praise for Joel that followed, and it’s been an awfully fun 48 hours to be a Sixers fan.
If Embiid returns and Harden can come anywhere close to maintaining the scoring impact and control he had against Boston’s defense that he displayed in Game 1, the Sixers could really be in with a chance to steal a 2-0 lead as they return to Philadelphia.
Given how the Sixers’ odds looked before this series with Embiid’s return date in question, what a turn of events that would be.