Doc Rivers provides positive assessment of Joel Embiid before Game 3
CAMDEN, N.J.–The Philadelphia 76ers returned home on Thursday looking to bounce back from a tough Game 2 loss to the Boston Celtics. They had a tough time finding any offensive rhythm and they couldn’t keep up when Boston hit them with an avalanche in the third quarter.
Probably more important than the result, however, was the return of MVP Joel Embiid from an LCL sprain in his right knee. He didn’t play great as he had just 14 points and three rebounds but he blocked five shots. His lack of offensive rhythm can also probably be attributed to being away from the game for as long as he was.
Coach Doc Rivers gave his assessment of Embiid as this series shifts to Philadelphia now for Game 3 on Friday.
“He looked good and his numbers were great,” said Rivers. “That’s the one thing watching all the numbers we track, his numbers were great last night. We didn’t play well, neither did any of us, but just the speed that he reached, his explosions, they were very close to normal so that was great for us to see.”
On top of that, there wasn’t much swelling for Embiid which is the most important sign.
“More importantly, great for him to be able to do it and then have very little swelling or anything like that,” Rivers added. “That was what we needed to find out in a lot of ways. Obviously, we didn’t win the game, but that’s important for us.”
Also, when Rivers says “numbers”, he doesn’t mean stats. He means the physical tracking numbers the Sixers have when it comes to Embiid and the rest of the players. They are able to see how he’s running and moving out on the floor.
“They came out phenomenal,” Rivers added of the numbers. “That was probably the best news.”
Game 3 from the Wells Fargo Center is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday.
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