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Philadelphia's hopes for competing against Miami appear to rely wholly on Joel Embiid's return from injury.
76ers fans shouldn't hold their breath.
Head coach Doc Rivers provided an update on Embiid's status after Wednesday's Game 2 loss to Miami. It doesn't sound great for Game 3.
— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 (@_Talkin_NBA) May 5, 2022
"He looked good as far as talking," Rivers told reporters of a FaceTime conversation with Embiid. "But he's got so many steps to go through. I don't think he's cleared any of them right now. We'll just have to wait and see."
Rivers' update arrived after Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported during the game for TNT that Embiid was having difficulty looking at his phone's screen as recently at Monday.
This was a great piece of reporting by @ChrisBHaynes at the Sixers game. Says Joel Embiid could not even look at the screen of his cell phone without it irritating him as of Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/2s7sp1BUsm
— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) May 5, 2022
"He said yesterday was the first day he was actually able to use his phone because the brightness of the phone was causing problems earlier," Haynes reported.
Embiid hasn't played since an inadvertent Pascal Siakam elbow resulted in a concussion and fractured right orbital bone in Game 6 of Philadelphia's first-round win over the Toronto Raptors. Prior to Game 1 against the Heat, there was reportedly "optimism" among the 76ers that Embiid could return for Game 3 or 4. His status depended on his passing concussion protocol and gaining medical clearance to play with his facial fracture.
Without their MVP finalist, the 76ers have been outmatched against the Heat, losing Games 1 and 2 by an average of 15 points. Heat center Bam Adebayo is averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 71.4% from the field. DeAndre Jordan, meanwhile, is averaging five points and 3.5 rebounds starting in Embiid's place.
Game 3 is scheduled for Friday in Philadelphia.