First, the Sixers earned a much-needed road win. Now they are getting their big man back.
Joel Embiid has been sidelined with a left shoulder strain since Feb. 26 and missed the team’s West Coast swing. He’s due to be re-evaluated by doctors on Monday and plans to return to the lineup shortly after. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Embiid has targeted a return on Wednesday for a home game versus Detroit.
The Sixers have struggled mightily in the All-Star center’s absence going 2-2, including 1-2 on the road. It could have been worse, though. The Sixers snapped a brutal nine-game road losing streak thanks to Thursday’s 125-108 victory over Sacramento.
More importantly, head coach Brett Brown discovered some new offense, in the form of second-year guard Shake Milton. He’s averaging 19.1 points over his last seven games while raising eyebrows across the league.
“Just his confidence. There’s a cocky side that’s emerging, which I love,” Brown told reporters. “I think he’s done a better job of spacing. But I just think his attitude, his mindset is as important as anything.”
Embiid Avoided Structural Damage in Shoulder
The best news in the aftermath of Joel Embiid’s troublesome shoulder injury was the diagnosis of “no structural damage.” The big man has missed about 10 days and four games. Broken bones or torn ligaments may have sidelined the 7-footer for several months.
“The fact that there is no structural damage, we all hear loudly,” head coach Brett Brown told reporters last week. “It’s as much from the personal standpoint as it is a selfish coach that he’s looking forward to this run home. The responsibility, no Ben for how long we’ll all figure out in time, and to learn that from his perspective and from the team’s perspective, that is exciting news.”
According to Philly Voice, Embiid has resumed participating in on-court basketball activities, including “conditioning and shooting drills.”
Embiid is averaging 23.3 points and 11.8 rebounds in 33.3 minutes per game. He was fresh off his third consecutive All-Star appearance and back to having self-described “fun” on the basketball court. Hopefully he returns in tip-top shape and form next week.