Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers have a lot to celebrate this week. The Cameroonian basketball star finally won a long-awaited MVP award. Philly has been playing very well this season and just swept the Brooklyn Nets to qualify for the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. The 76ers have a lot to prove this year and show that they are a major threat in the East.
The moment Joel Embiid became MVP 🔥 pic.twitter.com/9Su49UhsNe
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 2, 2023
The Boston Celtics also had an exceptional regular season finishing as the second seed. It was obvious from the start that they would make it deep into the playoffs. The Sixers might be a legitimate test for them right now. However, Jayson Tatum and his squad still have time to figure out a way to tackle Philly. Here are the injury reports and expected lineups ahead of Game 2.
Joel Embiid is available for the Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics game tonight
Joel Embiid endured an injury during Game 3 against the Nets. The newly crowned MVP has been resting since Game 4. Philly managed to bag a grand victory against the Nets and in Game 1 versus the Celtics. These victories were possibly all thanks to James Harden. The Beard scored 45 points against the Celtics leading them to a solid start to the series. However, fans are expected to see a healthy roster on Wednesday in Game 2.
After winning MVP last night, during a quick 76ers celebration, Joel Embiid turned to the team and said: “I’m back.”
Embiid is indeed on track to return tonight in Game 2 vs. Celtics barring setbacks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 3, 2023
Joel Embiid sprained his LCL and is expected to wear a knee brace to manage the injury going forward. However, the center was present at practice without any external support device which is a very good sign. Embiid is listed as day-to-day but will most likely ball out with his team in Game 2.
Philadelphia 76ers Injury Report
• Joel Embiid (Day-to-Day)
Philadelphia 76ers Expected Lineup
• James Harden
• Tyrese Maxey
• Tobias Harris
• P.J. Tucker
• Paul Reed
Boston Celtics Injury Report
• Danilo Gallinari (Out)
• Marcus Smart (Questionable)
Boston Celtics Expected Lineup
• Malcolm Brogdon
• Derrick White
• Jaylen Brown
• Jayson Tatum
• Al Horford
Marcus Smart is obviously the Celtics’ biggest defensive piece and his absence could cripple them a little bit. Smart endured a chest contusion and is listed as questionable for Game 2. There is a fifty-fifty chance that he does suit up for the game. However, Malcolm Brogdon can be equally as good or better than Smart, especially on offense.
Will Joel Embiid and the Sixers survive the Celtics’ wrath?
The Boston Celtics have a higher win ratio against the Philadelphia 76ers all time. Even during the playoffs, Boston has twice the amount of victories against Philadelphia as well. During the regular season, out of four games the Celtics have won three against the Sixers. Jayson Tatum and his squad have better experience when it comes to making deep playoff runs and playing under pressure.
A Game 2 comeback seems very unlikely for the Celtics without Smart. Embiid return is assured but his form may not be perfect. Either, Harden has shown that he can lead the team in Embiid’s absence. Harden averaged 20.6 points, 9.4 assists, and 6.7 rebounds with the MVP by his side. The Sixers seem to have adequate pieces around both All-Star players to balance out responsibilities. Philadelphia is expected to win Game 2 as well.