Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, will not play against the Utah Jazz Thursday. Embiid’s absence snaps a six-game streak, a career-high, in which he’s suited up for. On a strict 28-minute restriction implemented on Nov. 30, Embiid has played nine out of 12 games since then, tallying 25 or more minutes in each.
He’s also had to sit one game in a back-to-back set, in order to reduce his important workload. Philadelphia travels to Denver Friday and it appears that management will hold him out against an arguably stronger, more rugged opponent in Utah. Nerlens Noel (4.2 PPG, 2.0 RPG), reportedly, will soak up the minutes likely available from Embiid’s absence.
Nerlens Noel will get extended minutes tomorrow in Embiid's absence.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 28, 2016
Embiid (18.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.4 BPG) has been a beacon of positivity and hope for the Sixers this season and his 25-point, eight-rebound, two-block performance against DeMarcus Cousins and Sacramento Monday has added to a memorable campaign. Cousins, a star in his own right, went so far to praise Embiid for his efforts Monday in the close loss.
Embiid won’t have to face Rudy Gobert and his condor-like wingspan Thursday, if he were to spend minutes at the 5. He’ll have a more favorable matchup Friday against Denver’s frontcourt. The Sixers, evidently, are following through on their promise of keeping Embiid out of back-to-backs. As long as Embiid’s body is intact throughout his rookie campaign, it’ll be easier to endure nights when he’s not on the court.