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76ers’ Joel Embiid to play, start Game 1 against Atlanta Hawks

2021 NBA Playoffs - Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 6: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up prior to a game against the Atlanta Hawks during Round 2, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on June 6, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Joel Embiid is back.

Embiid will pay through the “small lateral meniscus tear” suffered in the first round and start in Game 1 against Atlanta.

Embiid sat out Game 5 against Washington (the Sixers still closed out the series).

The big question is how well he will move, and expect Trae Young and the Hawks to put that to the test early. Other big men have played through a meniscus injury in the playoffs but the history is not good, for example, Andrew Bynum in 2010. Eventually, the players do need surgery.

Having Embiid on the court is huge for the 76ers. They outscored their opponents by 12.4 points per 100 possessions this season with him but were basically even without him. In the first round against Washington, Philly was +33.4 when Embiid was on the court.