Philadelphia 76ers expect Joel Embiid to play against Boston Celtics

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers said he expects star center Joel Embiid will play against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in a clash between two of the three teams -- along with the Milwaukee Bucks -- tied atop the Eastern Conference standings.

"I do expect him to go," Rivers said. "You know, he went, he was in and out of practice today. We didn't let him do a lot of stuff. But he looked pretty good."

Embiid sat out of Saturday's loss in Memphis and would've sat out of Sunday's game in Oklahoma City, had it been played, with a sore right knee. Philadelphia has gone 9-2 when Embiid, who is averaging 25 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, has played, and 0-3 -- including losses to Memphis and the Cleveland Cavaliers -- when he sat.

The Celtics, on the other hand, will not have Jayson Tatum available. Tatum has been in the NBA's health and safety protocols since Jan. 8, and Celtics coach Brad Stevens said both he and second-year guard Carsen Edwards won't travel to Philadelphia for Wednesday's game.

Stevens left the door open to Tatum potentially returning for Friday's game against the Sixers.

"To be determined," he said, when asked if Tatum could join the team in Philadelphia later this week.

The Sixers, meanwhile, are also likely to get back guard Furkan Korkmaz, who has only played three games this season because of an adductor strain.

"It's not really fun, to be honest, you know, just supporting from the bench," said Korkmaz, who practiced Tuesday. "Of course, it's good to be with them. But when you don't compete with them on the court, you know, when you don't when you don't fight together, it's not the same thing.

"But right now I'm back. I will play tomorrow. So I'm really excited."

But while Embiid and Korkmaz will be back, Seth Curry will remain out because he remains in the league's health and safety protocols after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Boston, however, will get Robert Williams back as the center. He was in the protocols after he also tested positive, practiced with the Celtics Tuesday.

Williams said after practice that he'd had symptoms after testing positive, and that his daughter, his daughter's mother and his own mother have all tested positive for the coronavirus.

"They all in good spirits, you know, they are doing good," he said. "But, you know, I was more worried about them than I was myself, obviously."