76ers' Joel Embiid Listed as Out for Game 3 vs. Heat with Concussion, Facial Injury

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2022

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts during an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 133-120. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
AP Photo/Chris Szagola

It appears likely that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will miss Friday night's Game 3 against the Miami Heat, per multiple reports. 

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

76ers are listing All-Star Joel Embiid as out for Game 3 vs. Heat on Friday.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

The Sixers are currently listing Joel Embiid as out for Game 3, but there’s still progress that could be made to change his availability vs. Heat on Friday.

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck

Joel Embiid will be listed as OUT as of the 5 pm reporting deadline tonight, I’m told. He is still in the process of being cleared — don’t think it means he’s definitively out for Game 3, but where things stand in return to play steps right now

Embiid put together an MVP-caliber 2021-22 season and continued that strong play in the opening round of the Sixers' playoff run, averaging 26.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists as they eliminated the Toronto Raptors in six games.

So, it was a major blow when the 76ers announced the five-time All-Star would be out indefinitely after suffering an orbital fracture and mild concussion late in the Toronto series, catching a Pascal Siakam blow late in Game 6. It forced him to miss the first two games of the second-round matchup with the Heat.

The injury came after the 28-year-old NBA scoring champion showed improved durability to make a career-high 68 appearances during the regular season.

DeAndre Jordan stepped into the starting lineup to open the Heat series and will continue to play in traditional lineups until Embiid is cleared to return. Philadelphia has also used more small-ball looks, with Georges Niang and Paul Reed garnering more minutes.

The Sixers have managed to play well at times when Embiid has been sidelined because of their depth, but trying to survive without him in the postseason is a different task, as evidenced by their 2-0 deficit against Miami. Their title chances are directly tied to Embiid being on the floor, and a Game 3 loss would all but extinguish them entirely.