Celtics Will Have Extra Motivation To Finish Hawks In 5


Joel Embiid’s Health In Question

By sweeping the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 on Saturday, the Philadelphia 76ers became the first team to punch their tickets to the second round of the 2023 NBA playoffs. However, it is unknown if their best player will be available to start Round 2 against presumably the Boston Celtics.

Joel Embiid, the 76ers star center and front-runner for league MVP, sustained a knee injury in the 3rd quarter of Game 3 that caused him to miss Game 4 in Brooklyn. 

Will Embiid Miss Time?

How likely is it that Embiid will be able to play in Game 1 of the second round? Following Saturday’s Game 4, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said: “Probably 50 percent, at best.

If you’re a Sixers fan, 50% “at best” is not very encouraging because of Embiids long history of injuries and how his fitness and stamina have never been certainties during the postseason. 

Without Embiid dominating in Round 1, the Sixers were still able to defeat the lowly Brooklyn Nets in a sweep, but probably won’t have as much luck if they face the Boston Celtics in the second round.

What This Means For Boston

Simply put, If the Celtics defeat the Atlanta Hawks, they will face the Sixers in the second round. Going into Game 5 at TD Garden on Tuesday night, Boston leads the series 3-1 and can close it out with a win.

Scenario 1: If the Celtics finish the series on Tuesday night, R2 Game 1 would occur at TD Garden on April 29, while Game 2 would occur on May 1. 

Scenario 2: If the Hawks series goes 6 or 7 games, R2 Game 1 would occur on May 1, while Game 2 would be on May 3. 

Those extra two days of rest could mean a lot for Embiid’s status for Games 1 and 2 in Boston. With this, the Celtics should have even more motivation to eliminate the Hawks as soon as possible to begin a series against the Sixers this Saturday.

Courtesy of NBA on ESPN YouTube Channel