The Philadelphia 76ers captured a 2-1 series lead over the Miami Heat on Thursday night with a 128-108 victory. It was Joel Embiid’s first game back since March 28th when he collided with teammate Markelle Fultz and fractured his orbital bone. He missed 10 games in total.

He made his presence felt right away. Especially on the defensive side with an early stuff of James Johnson. The Sixers just looked well connected on that side of the ball with him in the game. It was beautiful to see how much better he makes them. He finished with a steal and three blocks.

It also helps when he adds this to your offense. Something the Sixers were obviously lacking without him in the lineup. It’s always fun to play at 100 miles per hour, set screens and get a ton of open looks from deep, but it’s such an advantage when you have a 7’2 beast you can throw it in to. It’s a good change of pace that makes the Sixers such a mismatch for other teams. He was just 5/11 from the field, but made three of his four attempts from downtown. It wasn’t his most impressive night from the stripe either, shooting just 10/15, but it shows how much of a problem he is when he can get to the free throw line like that.

Joel Embiid is already scary as it is. But sometimes he’ll get in these moods where he will not be denied and it’s quite the sight to see. If the Heat want to be dirty, they’ll have to deal with a DETERMINED Joel Embiid.

The two teams face off again in Miami on Saturday afternoon. Can the Sixers put a strangle hold on the series? If they play good, team

defense again, I like their chances. Everything starts on the end for this team.