Joel Embiid's return to the lineup on Tuesday gave the Philadelphia 76ers a major boost, and with an easy schedule facing them for the remainder of the season, they have a real chance at escaping the play-in round and earning a guaranteed top-six playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Only one major obstacle awaited them in their final handful of games: a back-to-back over the weekend against the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies.

While neither represented difficult tests on their own, the mere fact that those games would be played on consecutive days proved problematic for Philadelphia because it meant that the recovering Embiid would not play in at least one of those contests. The 76ers put him on the floor Saturday against the Grizzlies, and that left the rest of the team to fend for themselves on Sunday against San Antonio.

Fortunately, Embiid isn't Philadelphia's only star. Tyrese Maxey took center stage on Sunday with a career-high 52 points in a career-high 53 minutes in a double-overtime victory. Maxey's game-tying layup in the closing seconds of regulation sent the game to overtime, and a stellar second overtime period from young guard Ricky Council IV sealed the deal.

The 76ers still have a ways to go if they plan to avoid the play-in round. They are seeded No. 7 as of this writing, and they trail the No. 6 Indiana Pacers by a full game. The Pacers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, so the 76ers need to make up two games over the last week if they hope to pass them. Technically, the Miami Heat control their own destiny in terms of seeding against Philadelphia as well because of their superior conference record, so Philadelphia could easily slip to No. 8.

But the 76ers have easy games against the Nets and Pistons left on their slate. They are getting healthy at the right time and finally beginning to see just how promising this revamped roster can be. With a healthy Embiid and Maxey playing some of the best basketball of his career, anything is possible for Philadelphia this postseason.