Joel Embiid Returning Against Raptors
Joel Embiid played just five minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers before leaving due to an ankle injury. The injury kept him sidelined on Tuesday against the Suns, but the All-Star is set to make his return.
Brett Brown told the media that he expected Embiid to return before the playoffs began, and it looks like his intuition was right. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Joel Embiid will be in the lineup on Wednesday night in the Sixers matchup against the Toronto Raptors. It has also been reported that Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, and Al Horford will return to the lineup as well.
Seeing Embiid come back to the action this soon is very encouraging news. Based on how fast Embiid is returning to play, it looks like his injury was not serious and his resting was more out of precaution.
The Sixers couldn't have picked a better game to bring back Embiid. This game is going to be a big test for Embiid, as he has struggled against the Raptors in the past. Having the entire starting lineup back in this game should be a must.
Toronto is one of the main teams standing in the Sixers' way of reaching the NBA finals, so this game will be a chance to see how they stack up against the defending champs. Not to mention, the Sixers need to figure out how they are going to compete against the Conference's top teams without the services of Ben Simmons.
Opponents have thrown double teams at Joel Embiid in every game he has appeared in, and Raptors' coach Nick Nurse will bring more of the same. Seeing how Embiid can respond to Nurse and the Raptors could give the Sixers a good idea of where they stack up in the conference heading into the playoffs.
Kevin McCormick is the 76ers insider for 97.3 ESPN and 76ers editor for Sportstalkphilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMcC973.