If there was any sign that Joel Embiid was healthy, it was when he ran out with WWE star Triple H to ring the bell ahead of Game 1. Embiid ran, moved around and yes, even thrusted a little bit.
When it came time for the game, Embiid's offensive output had no drop-off from his usual dominance.
Embiid set a playoff career-high in Game 1 with 39 points, making the meniscus tear in his right knee seem like a thing of the past.
Despite the big man’s injury history, Game 2 should be no different.
WynnBET has Embiid’s point total for tonight set at 29.5, with the odds (-110 on both sides) resulting in a pick ‘em. Embiid and the Sixers are in a crucial Game 2, trying to avoid going down 0-2 to the underdog Hawks. Not only will Embiid play tonight, but expect him to be dominant once again.
Outside of Clint Capela, the Hawks have no answer for Embiid’s size in the paint. He was 1-for-3 from behind the arc, showing it was his mission to make Atlanta play closer to the basket and try to handle his physicality.
Embiid acknowledged there was some pain in his knee, but that he wasn’t thinking about the injury during the game.
Doc Rivers noted that the game plan for Embiid doesn’t change, even with the injury.
“We didn’t change much, not because of his health,” Rivers said after the game. “We changed more because of Trae Young than Joel’s health.”
The Sixers need Embiid to play at his normal level to even the series. Atlanta shot lights out in Game 1, and Philadelphia didn’t have an answer for Young. If Embiid doesn't show up, the 76ers will soon be joining the New York Knicks in Cancun.