Joel Embiid listed as doubtful for Philadelphia 76ers’ Game 3 at Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, of Cameroon, in action prior to the first half in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Joel Embiid – (orbital bone fracture, left eye) is doubtful for tomorrow night’s game at Miami.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 18, 2018
Embiid is continuing to rehab from an orbital bone fracture in his left eye. He suffered the injury when he collided with teammate Markelle Fultz on March 28. He had surgery a couple days later, and he hasn’t returned to the lineup since.
Embiid missed the first two games of the Sixers’ first playoff series since 2012 against the Miami Heat. After the Heat won Game 2 on Monday, Embiid complained he was “[expletive] tired of being babied” in a post on Instagram.
Sixers’ coach Brett Brown responds to Joel Embiid’s Instagram post expressing frustration
The 7-footer had warmed up before the Sixers’ first two home playoff games while wearing a black protective mask, but he didn’t appear in either game. His most significant appearance with the Sixers in the past three weeks has been when he donned a “Phantom of the Opera” mask for the team’s ceremonial bell-ringing before Game 1.
“He wants to play in front of the fans, and he wants to see this through, and when he’s not able to do that, he gets frustrated,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said Monday. “I respect his frustration.”
Embiid averaged a team-high 22.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game for the Sixers and served as a big part of their improvement to a 52-win team and the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Embiid is a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, too.
Embiid can be re-evaluated Thursday morning at the team’s pregame shootaround shootaround. The Sixers and Heat are tied, 1-1.