Joel Embiid won NBA’s Most Valuable Player award, beating Nikola Jokic, NBA’s MVP for the previous two seasons.
But that’s not the only good news coming from Philadelphia’s camp.
According to reports, Embiid is in contention to start Game 2 against the Boston Celtics.
The center took part in the morning shootaround on Wednesday.
If there are no late setbacks, he is set to feature in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal and provide a massive boost for the 76ers.
Traded a Career in Soccer for One in Basketball
Before starring in the NBA and winning the coveted recognition for the best player in the regular season, Embiid was playing soccer in Africa.
It wasn’t until his teenage years that he decided to change sports and was quickly recognized as a generational talent.
When he joined Philadelphia, Embiid instantly became an integral player for the team and the face of what was known as The Process – the gradual rebuild of the 76ers.
He became so synonymous with The Process that the term stuck and he embraced it as his nickname – Joel “The Process” Embiid.
And the process is going as well as the 76ers had originally planned.
The team beat the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and kicked off their second round of the playoffs in style.
There was also no better time for Embiid to be crowned MVP than that victory over the favorite for the NBA Championship title.
In the regular season, the Cameroonian center scored 33.1 points per game, averaging more points than any other NBA player.
He averaged 4.2 assists and 10.2 rebounds too. Embiid said that the MVP award was “a long time coming” and that it was a lot of hard work to win it.
If Embiid is Fit, He Will Start Game 2
Injuries have been a problem for Embiid since early in his career, but have not prevented the 29-year-old from achieving great things and fulfilling his potential.
However, a sprained knee injury kept him out of action for one game against the Brooklyn Nets.
The 76ers got the job done, though, sweeping the Nets without even giving them a chance.
Embiid missed the first game of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Celtics too.
Fortunately, James Harden was on hand to score 45 points and give the 76ers a vital 1-0 lead in the series.
Embiid is expected to be back by Game 3 when the 76ers take the series to Philadelphia, but reports coming from people close to the 76ers camp indicate that Embiid might even return for Game 2 on Wednesday.
He participated in a full workout on Tuesday, and if he doesn’t suffer a setback during the shootaround or pregame warm-up, he might start Game 2 and give his team a massive.
A 2-0 lead in the series before the 76ers travel back to Philadelphia could be huge for the team.
Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers was philosophical about Embiid’s situation and said it was “health-based,” adding that if Embiid could play, he would. If not, he won’t.
But what if the player was 50-50? In that case, the 76ers coach said they would probably err on the side of caution and they wouldn’t risk him, a strategy that served them well this season.