So says the Miami Herald:
The Sixers haven’t announced if All-Star center Joel Embiid will be back for Game 3 of their opening-round playoff series against the Miami Heat on Thursday night.
But it’s safe to say Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and his team are preparing to see Embiid — and his new mask — back on the court soon after he cleared the NBA’s concussion protocol Sunday afternoon.
“Quite a bit,” Spoelstra answered Monday afternoon when asked if the team has continued to prepare itself to face Embiid, who has been out since he collided with teammate Markelle Fultz and sustained a fracture of his orbital bone. “We had to [prepare for Embiid] leading up to the first game because we didn’t know for absolutely certain [he wasn’t going to play] until I saw him not walk out there. So we had to prepare for him. And when he comes back officially — it looks like Game 3 — we’ll have to revisit that again.”
Sixers coach Brett Brown said before Game 2 Monday night the team isn’t sure if Embiid will be ready for Game 3 or if he will be limited in some capacity when he returns.
“I can’t wait to get him back. He is to me the difference maker. Joel Embiid changes the dynamics in many ways of this team,” Brown said. “There will be a reintroduction to him back into the team. How I play him, I’m not sure really what that’s going to look like. We’ll judge that more once we can actually see what we can do with him and how soon we can do it. I can’t give you like a perfect answer of what that looks like.”
Brown suggested Embiid still has to be cleared for contact.
“And that’s a partnership with Joel and the medical people, it’s a collaborative thing with the bottomline being what’s best for his health,” Brown said. “It doesn’t have anything to do ‘Oh we lost the first game, we have to rush him.’ The bottomline is what is best for Joel Embiid’s health.”
In three games against the Heat this season, Embiid (7-0, 250) has averaged 19 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and one block. In each of his two games in Miami, Embiid also made three three-pointers. In the last meeting between the Heat and Sixers on March 8, though, Embiid was only 5 for 18 from the field and was outplayed by center Hassan Whiteside.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article208777219.html#storylink=cpy