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Joel Embiid Expected To Return This Weekend, says Doc Rivers

After a tough loss against the Clippers on Saturday night, Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers gave a huge clue on the return of injured big man Joel Embiid. "A week ago, we had four centers. Now we're down to two. Without Joel, we're down to one and a bunch of small guys. That's just what we are for the next two games probably and then we're back to our normal rotation," Rivers said about Embiid and his possible return timetable before the Nuggets game on Wednesday. Joel has already started resuming on-court basketball activities and has begun ramping up his conditioning. NBA Insider, Shams Charania, confirmed the rumors Wednesday night tweeting, "76ers star Joel Embiid (knee) is expected to return on Saturday vs Minnesota, sources tell The Athletic"

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

George Hill, on the other hand, is not expected to return this weekend. On March 29th, Rivers said that Hill is still doing some rehab due to his thumb surgery in early February and he isn’t going to play him until he is 100% healthy.

Expectations for this team for the rest of the regular season when Embiid and Hill are back healthy and in the lineup should be a better two-man game with the bench unit and improved guard defense. All-in-all, the Sixers will be a better team when both of these guys are healthy.

Regarding concerns about Embiid and Hill, the Sixers' schedule in the following weeks isn't as daunting as you may think. The next seven matchups will consist of only two teams with a winning record. The next two opponents for the Sixers will be the Cleveland Cavaliers (17-30) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (11-36).

It is very possible for the Sixers to make a huge run in the months of April and May and only drop somewhere close to 10 games and keep their spot at the top of the Eastern Conference. With the return of Joel Embiid and George Hill, this is easily achievable.

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