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Sixers ‘internally’ hopeful for Joel Embiid’s return for Game 3 vs. Heat

joel embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers are “internally” hopeful that their star center, Joel Embiid, can return for Thursday’s Game 3 against the Miami Heat, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

Despite being medically cleared to return after passing the concussion protocol, Embiid looked frustrated after a Game 2 loss to the Heat at home, taking to Instagram immediately after the game.

“F***ing sick and tired of being babied,” Embiid wrote on his Instagram account.

He later told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne the reasons for his frustrated post.

“I promised the city the playoffs and I’m not on the court and I may not be on Thursday either,” said Embiid. “I wish more than anything that I was out there. I just want the green light to play.”

Head coach Brett Brown noted Embiid was consistent with his willingness to be on the court, and that he expects that competitive side from him, while the medical team is hoping to enforce due diligence — putting his health as the top priority.

“He just wants to play basketball. He wants to be with his team. He wants to play in front of the fans, and he wants to see this through,” Brown said after the Sixers’ 113-103 loss. “And when he’s not able to do that, he gets frustrated, and we respect his frustration. It’s born out of competitiveness, and it’s born out of him wanting to be with his team.”

If he indeed returns on Thursday with a couple of extra days’ rest, Embiid would draw a matchup with Heat center Hassan Whiteside — one that is bound to see plenty of fireworks, despite the latter having a rather disappointing postseason thus far.

According to Begley’s sources, there are still a few medical hurdles he’ll need to clear over the next few days in order to get the green light from the organization.