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Embiid ready to drop the hammer: Sixers gear up for playoff push

Embiid ready to drop the hammer: Sixers gear up for playoff push

Embiid ready to drop the hammer: Sixers gear up for playoff push

Joel Embiid

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  • Sixers star Joel Embiid expected to return this week after knee injury.
  • Embiid’s return could shake up Eastern Conference playoff race.
  • 76ers currently 8th in the East, need 2 games to avoid Play-In Tournament.
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Joel Embiid, the star center for the Philadelphia 76ers, is on the verge of making a comeback and is anticipated to play this week, as reported by the Athletic on Monday.

Embiid, aged 30, has been sidelined since January 30 due to a left meniscus injury. The 76ers are scheduled to play against the Thunder on Tuesday, and Embiid’s availability for that game is expected to be announced later today.

The return of the 7-foot player is set to cause a significant reshuffling in the lower half of the NBA playoff standings in the Eastern Conference.

As of Monday, Philadelphia was ranked eighth in the East, trailing the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers by two games, the Miami Heat for the No. 7 seed by a game-and-a-half, and leading the ninth-placed Chicago Bulls by four games.

The teams seeded 7-10 participate in the Play-In Tournament to decide the last two playoff spots in each conference.

At the time of Embiid’s injury, the 76ers held a 29-17 record and were in fifth place in the East.

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With Embiid out of action, Philadelphia’s record fell to 11-18, pushing them into a Play-In position.

The 76ers have seven games remaining and need to make up just two games to secure the sixth seed in the East and bypass the Play-In Tournament entirely.

The most crucial remaining game on Philadelphia’s schedule is their match against the Heat on Thursday.

This game in Miami could decide who hosts the 7/8 game in the Play-In Tournament if both Philly and Miami fail to secure the sixth seed.

The Sixers were trailing the Knicks for the No. 4 seed by four-and-a-half games and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 3 seed by five games. However, it’s unlikely that Philadelphia has enough time to secure home-court advantage for a first-round playoff series, and there’s no guarantee they’d win enough games anyway.

Prior to his injury, Embiid was delivering another season worthy of MVP consideration.

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The seven-time All-Star was averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.

The 76ers will require Embiid to perform at this level again to move out of the Play-In field and make a run in the playoffs.

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Despite a thumb injury, Joel Embiid scores 21 points against the Raptors.
Despite a thumb injury, Joel Embiid scores 21 points against the Raptors.

Despite a thumb injury, Joel Embiid played in the 76ers' Game 4...

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