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Joel Embiid (knee) starts for Philadelphia Sixers in Game 1 vs. Atlanta Hawks

May 31, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before the game four against the Washington Wizards in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will start of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

Embiid, 27, participated in Friday’s practice, albeit on a limited basis, despite the small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee that kept the four-time All-Star from the Sixers’ Game 5 series-clinching win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

While the NBA MVP finalist, who averaged 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds in 51 games this season, did not engage in live scrimmages, it did lend hope that the big man could be more day-to-day than gone for the postseason.

The other good news for the 76ers was that they were able to survive Game 5 without their superstar and advance to the second round, although the No. 5-seeded Hawks provide a tougher test than the No. 8 Wizards.

Including Game 5 against Washington, Philadelphia has gone 11-11 without Embiid this season.

Related: NBA MVP Race 2021-22 – Giannis Antetokounmpo takes over as favorite

–Field Level Media