Joel Embiid’s 39-point, nine-rebound performance in the Sixers’ Game 1 loss to the Hawks did not magically alleviate all injury concerns for the Sixers.
Embiid was officially listed Monday night as questionable for Game 2 of the Sixers' second-round series, which will tip off Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“I think we always have to worry,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said Monday shortly before the NBA’s injury report was released. “I don’t think we’re out of the woods, I’ll put it that way. I think after each game he’s going to be evaluated for a while. Now, I don’t know how long that lasts. That may be three, four, five games. But we’re still not out of the woods."
Rivers gave a positive report on Embiid while emphasizing he’s no expert on injuries.
“He looked pretty good,” Rivers said. “Obviously we didn’t do much today but just my observation, not being a real medical doctor, is that he looked pretty good. We were happy with everything.”
Embiid’s focus between games will be managing pain and swelling the best he can. There’s also an element of hoping his knee responds well to treatment and time off the floor. With two days off leading into both Games 3 and 4, he’ll have a bit more opportunity to rest in the middle of the series.
Though Rivers admitted he didn’t like having Embiid on the floor as the Sixers pressed the Hawks full court during a chaotic, late comeback push Sunday, Embiid insisted he doesn’t need to be limited.
“I can adjust to any style of play,” he said. “We just played Washington; they play fast. This team, they were physical and they played fast. I can adjust to it. It’s the playoffs. You can’t worry about how many minutes someone is supposed to play or is going to play. You’ve got to go with your best guys.
“As long as I’m OK to be out there, I’m going to give my best and I’m going to keep pushing until I can’t. As long as I’m out there, I’m going to play hard and I’m going to dive for loose balls. I’m going to do whatever it takes to win.”
Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter missed Game 1 with right knee soreness and is questionable for Game 2. Hawks head coach Nate McMillan told reporters Hunter will be a game-time decision.
Atlanta’s Kris Dunn (non-COVID illness), Brandon Goodwin (respiratory condition) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) are still sidelined.