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Joel Embiid available to play in Game 1 vs. Nets

Joel Embiid, Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid will be available to play in Game 1 of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday afternoon, according to Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

There had been some doubt as to whether or not Embiid would play, as there had been concerns over his sore knee that has bothered him for much of the second half of the season.

But, it looks like he will be good to go.

Of course, how many minutes Embiid plays or whether or not he will be on a minutes restriction remains to be seen. Embiid sat out several games because of the knee issues during the season, so the 76ers may want to tread carefully in this first-round series.

You would think that how much head coach Brett Brown decides to play Embiid will also depend on the circumstances surrounding the game. If the Sixers are able to build a big lead on the underdog Nets, perhaps he will pull him until/unless Brooklyn rallies.

On the season, Embiid played in 64 games and averaged 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 blocks over 33.7 minutes per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the floor, 30 percent from three-point range and 80.4 percent from the free-throw line en route to an All-Star appearance.

The 25-year-old, who played his collegiate basketball at the University of Kansas, was originally selected by Philadelphia with the third overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.

However, due to back and foot issues, Embiid missed the first two seasons of his career and then played in just 31 games in 2016-17 due to a knee injury.

He made the All-Star Game in his first full season a year ago.