Joel Embiid is listed as doubtful with left knee soreness on the NBA’s official injury report for Game 4 of the Sixers’ first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
He missed Game 3 in Brooklyn, a 131-115 Sixers’ win. About an hour before tip-off, Embiid discussed his knee pain, which he described as "tendinitis," saying he feels he’s getting better “slowly but surely" (see story).
That said, it sounds like Embiid’s progress is non-linear and difficult for him to predict.
“At the end of the day, what cures it is just loading,” he said. “You gotta load in the right way. Can’t do too much and then also can’t sit out and do nothing. It’s hard to manage, but gotta do it. Gotta push through the pain and see where it goes.”
Embiid began practice Friday by firing a few three-pointers in his slippers.
Joel Embiid shooting 3s in slippers: pic.twitter.com/tJtu2MPJl7— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) April 19, 2019
He then laced up his sneakers and went through an individualized workout.
Joel Embiid going through a personal workout: pic.twitter.com/fKjaEwT8VQ— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) April 19, 2019
Brown said early Friday afternoon that his holistic “gut feel” Thursday was that Embiid would not play. He said he didn’t yet have a sense for Embiid’s Game 4 availability.
Though the Sixers’ athlete care team is closely monitoring Embiid’s “loading,” all the factors behind the decision of whether he plays remain nebulous. Brett Brown has characterized that choice as being dictated both by how Embiid feels and the recommendation of the medical staff.
The center tandem of Greg Monroe and Boban Marjanovic combined for 23 points and 21 rebounds Thursday night. Marjanovic has been impressive in this series and quite possibly the Sixers’ most consistent player (see story).
While he’s officially doubtful, it’s still very possible Embiid plays in Game 4. He went from being doubtful for Game 1 to playing and posting 22 points and 15 rebounds in the Sixers’ 111-102 loss.
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