76ers hope extra rest for Joel Embiid pays off against Celtics

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers were smart to rest Joel Embiid on Tuesday so the star center would feel extra rested for Wednesday’s key meeting with the Boston Celtics.

After a thrilling win over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday to remain in great shape with the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers hope to carry over the momentum into Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics.

While the Celtics continue to have their way with Brett Brown‘s squad, the Sixers hope their decision to rest Joel Embiid on Tuesday pays off in the best way possible when facing the Celtics since, with all due respect to the Hornets, this is by far the bigger contest.

Despite Philadelphia holding a three-game lead over Boston at the moment, Brown knows that plenty can change over these final few weeks.

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And if the Sixers were to somehow lose the No. 3 or No. 4 seed to the Celtics, it would be absolutely crushing since they currently control the cruise right now with their own playoff fate.

Not to mention, when looking at how ugly it got last spring when Philadelphia fell in the semifinals to Boston, Brown and the Sixers realize the importance of having home-court advantage over the Celtics if these two rivals were to meet in the playoffs for a second year in a row.

As far as Embiid is concerned, while it was frustrating to watch him miss eight games following the All-Star break, Philadelphia felt confident enough in being able to rest their star center during Tuesday’s contest against Charlotte, although the 118-114 win shows it was pretty close.

Still, even if the Sixers did come up shy against the Hornets, deep down they knew that Wednesday’s meeting with the Celtics is what mattered the most since a win would be a much bigger statement in the Eastern Conference.

Words can’t describe how frustrating it’s been at times to watch Philadelphia come up short against Boston time and time again, but a win Wednesday would make the situation much easier to handle.

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Plus, with Embiid gaining some extra rest for a game the Sixers would end up winning, this will hopefully pay off in the best way possible by earning a victory over the Celtics to help continue giving them an extra edge for the No. 3 seed in the playoff race.