NBA

76ers coach Rivers: Embiid is 'close' to return from injury

By Sports Desk March 31, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers says Joel Embiid is "close" to a playing return after more than a fortnight on the sidelines with bone bruising in his knee.

Embiid, 27, has not played for the 76ers since their March 13 win over the Washington Wizards, when he went down injured.

The 76ers have remained top of the Eastern Conference in his absence but lost their second straight game on Tuesday, going down 104-95 to the Denver Nuggets.

"Whenever Joel comes back, we’re going to go back to our normal rotation, but I have no idea," Rivers said.

"He’s close. I can tell you that. He’s working every day, I get reports back daily, and he looks good. He’s doing well."

Given Philadelphia's position on the standings, the franchise is focusing on ensuring the Cameroonian forward is fully fit for the play-offs.

"He has to clear certain medical steps," Rivers said. "I don’t even know what those are, but he has to.

"Then the other thought with us, and the way I’ve always tried to do it, if you can come back and just keep playing, then you’re healthy, but if you can come back and play one game or two games and then have to sit, then you’re not ready yet. If you know what I’m saying.

"We want to make sure when Joel comes back, he’s back. Not in and out and I think that’s very important."

Related items

  • Thompson impresses as Warriors rout Mavericks and says 'it felt good to be myself again' Thompson impresses as Warriors rout Mavericks and says 'it felt good to be myself again'

    Klay Thompson said "it felt good to be myself again" after playing a season-high 25 minutes in the Golden State Warriors' 130-92 rout of the Dallas Mavericks.

    Thompson is still getting up to speed having missed two and a half years, first with a serious knee injury then with a torn Achilles.

    He sat out the Warriors previous two matches to rest his surgically repaired left knee but was part of a well-rounded offense that downed Luka Doncic and the Mavericks to help Golden State clock up a third straight win.

    Thompson had 15 points alongside six assists, while Stephen Curry had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Jonathan Kuminga added 22 points, while Jordan Poole had 17 off the bench for the title contenders.

    "I really pride myself on my efficiency, so it felt good to be myself again," Thompson said of his performance.

    "My mindset is just to play with energy, great focus and joy."

    Head coach Steve Kerr believes it was Thompson's best performance since his comeback.

    "I think this was Klay's best game in terms of his patience and allowing things to happen, he wasn't forcing it at all," Kerr said.

    Doncic scored 25 points on an otherwise forgettable night for the Mavericks, whose misery was compounded by Tm Hardaway Jr going off court with a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot with seven minutes and 16 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

    "I just want to say how sorry we are to hear that. You hate to see anybody get injured," Kerr said. 

    "I just want to send him our regards from the organisation and hopefully he’s back sometime soon. I don’t know what the prognosis is. We feel terrible for him."

    Doncic added of his team-mate: "That's just bad luck. I talked to him. He's disappointed. Every time you get injured you are sad, so we tried to cheer him up."

  • Lue lauds 'crazy' Clippers comeback Lue lauds 'crazy' Clippers comeback

    Los Angeles Clippers coach Ty Lue branded his side's stunning comeback win over the Washington Wizards as "crazy".

    The Clippers roared back from 66-31 down in the second quarter to claim a thrilling 116-115 triumph at Capital One Arena.

    In doing so, they became the first team in NBA history to score under 40 points in the first half of a game and follow up by posting 40 or more points in both the third and fourth quarters.

    And Lue, who was without injured leading duo Kawhi Leonard (ACL) and Paul George (elbow), was delighted by the Clippers' astonishing feat.

    "It's crazy," he said. "Because when I looked at the score in the first half, I thought we were down 19. And I looked again, I said, 'We're down 29!' I said, 'Oh s***!' It happened so quick.

    "We kept chipping away. I know when it was like 17 going into the fourth, and I think when we got to 10, I was like, okay, we got a real shot."

    Luke Kennard landed a three-point pullup jump shot with 1.9 seconds remaining, tying the game.

    He was fouled in the process, earning a free throw, and made no mistake from that opportunity as he landed the game-winning point.

    Amir Coffey was one of the players who came in for the second half to help instigate the fightback, adding 29 points, and he echoed his coach's sentiments regarding the mad nature of the contest.

    "Probably the craziest game I've ever been a part of," he said. "January's been wild.

    "You never know when the game is over. Play through the buzzer.

    "Like tonight, anything can happen."

    On the losing side, the Wizards' Bradley Beal was left humiliated.

    "I have no words, besides 'embarrassing'," he said, having put up 23 points. 

    "I was frustrated when I had to go back in. This should have been a game where the starters get their rest. Plain and simple."

  • I was more worried about LeBron than my knee! – Returning Lakers star Davis talks James celebration I was more worried about LeBron than my knee! – Returning Lakers star Davis talks James celebration

    Anthony Davis joked he was more concerned about LeBron James than his own recovering knee following a celebration during the Los Angeles Lakers' 106-96 triumph over the Brooklyn Nets.

    Superstar James put up 33 points as the Lakers moved to 24-24 in an inconsistent season, but it was the return of Davis after a 17-game absence with a sprained knee that will have been a particularly pleasing sight.

    Davis contributed eight points to go with two assists and two rebounds from 25 minutes on court and the Lakers will hope his return can help spark a strong run in the latter half of the season.

    There was one moment of concern for Davis, though, who knocked James off balance after his illustrious team-mate managed a couple of steals and dunks in quick succession during the fourth quarter.

    "Can't think about it. When I’m on the floor I try not to think about it," Davis said about his knee and the celebrations. 

    "I was what, a month, five weeks, doing a lot of weightlifting. So, I hit him, he kind of like fell over. I was more worried for him than my knee!"

    Davis took little time getting back up to speed and blocked three shots in a first quarter that saw the Lakers leading 33-25.

    James was delighted to have his team-mate back on court.

    "Obviously right away you see what he's capable of," James said. 

    "We draw a play right to start the game, I was able to turn the corner and threw a late lob that he was still able to throw home. So very exciting to have him back."

    The Nets were still without Kevin Durant (knee), while Kyrie Irving was again unavailable. Irving is unvaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore is not eligible to play in matches in New York under the city's health protocols.

    James Harden had 33 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists but was later asked about reports he is frustrated at the Nets.

    "Listen, I don't know about any reports," Harden said. "Of course I'm frustrated because we're not healthy, there's a lot of inconsistency for whatever reason. 

    "Injuries, COVID, whatever you want to call it, so yeah, it is frustrating. I think everyone in this organisation is frustrated because we are better than our record is and we should be on the way up. So that's all it is."

    The reports suggested Harden is frustrated by Irving's mixed availability and the rotations of head coach Steve Nash, who said he cannot imagine his player making such comments.

    "So I'm not sure what to believe," Nash said. 

    "James and I speak all the time and I think we have a great relationship, so I'm not sure the validity of these comments to be honest with you."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.