Joel Embiid will be available to play in Game 1 of the Philadelphia 76ers' first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Sources: 76ers star Joel Embiid (knee) will be available to play in Game 1 against the Nets.- Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 13, 2019
Had he not been able to go, Boban Marjanovic would've gotten the start.
When talking to the media on Friday, the two-time All-Star said "I have no idea" when asked about his playing status for the game, per Rich Hofmann of The Athletic . Embiid has been dealing with pain in his left knee since returning from All-Star, added Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Joel Embiid says he has been experiencing increasing pain in his left knee recently (which he says he started feeling when they got back from All-Star) & that whether or not he plays tomorrow will depend on how much pain he feels. #Sixers #NBAPlayoffs https://t.co/zIBZ0YV8lu- Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) April 12, 2019
Embiid averaged career-highs of 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game this season. He also blocked 1.9 shots per game, the seventh-best mark in the league.
The 76ers have been a completely different team with Embiid in uniform this season. According to NBA.com , they went from averaging 111.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the court to 105.9 with him on the bench.
It was a similar story on the other end of the court: Philadelphia limited opponents to 103.3 points per 100 possessions with him in the lineup compared to 109.1 with him on the bench.
Additionally, the Nets had no answer for Embiid in the regular season. He averaged 30.0 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the four games the two teams played against each other.
Embiid scored 39 points in one of those games, which was his seventh-highest scoring output of the season.
In the games Embiid missed down the stretch of the season, Jonah Bolden started at centre for the 76ers in all but one.