Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid currently listed out for Game 3 with small chance to play

Miami Heat defend Joel Embiid (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat defend Joel Embiid (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

Joel Embiid is listed as ‘out’ for Game 3 as the desperate Philadelphia 76ers return home. 

The Philadelphia 76ers have Joel Embiid listed as out for Game 3, with a possible chance his availability changes before Friday night. Not having their best player is absolutely brutal for Philly. Fans of the NBA and players want to see the most competitive series possible.

Even players on the Miami Heat feel the same way. Jimmy Butler had this to say when he was asked about Joel Embiid not being available.

"“I want him to get right, because we want to play against who I call the MVP.”"

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers must be extremely frustrated not having his star player available. The Sixers hovered around the top of the conference for most of the season, and Philly ended up with the fourth seed. Embiid means so much to the 76ers when he plays, and it’s easy to see where they struggle without him.

Through 40 postseason games played in his career, Embiid averages 24.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Those are numbers that could elevate the team to get a win, but the Heat have the one seed for a reason.

Philly lost Game 1 by 14 points and Game 2 by 16 points. Who knows how many games the Sixers would actually win with Embiid playing. All I know is that Games 1 and 2 would have been a lot closer if he was. Miami and Philly split the regular-season series 2-2.

Late in the regular season, the Sixers beat Miami 113-106 in a game that Embiid did not play in. The Heat had their full complement of players as well, proving that they can beat Miami with Embiid. Philly was without James Harden in this game as well.

The series shifting back to Philadelphia should be a breath of fresh air for the 76ers. Homecourt advantage still means something in the playoffs, maybe not the regular season, but most certainly in the postseason. Philly has some of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports. I expect them to be loud tonight, trying to do whatever they can to help the Sixers win.

My gut feeling is that Embiid will not play in Game 3. I think the Sixers will try to win without Embiid tonight, however they can get that done. Kyle Lowry has been upgraded to questionable with a hamstring injury, though Miami has seemed to be comfortable without him. Embiid is out as of this moment, but news could drop at any point today about his possible return.

Next. The Miami Heat should expect Philly's best punch in Game 3. dark

The 76ers are desperate for a win, and the Heat want to end this series early if they can. Will the Sixers come together as a team to get that much-needed victory, or is Miami already thinking about the Eastern Conference Finals?