In the Sixers’ 113-102 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night, it was glaringly obvious that Joel Embiid was out of sorts. He shot just 5 of 17 and was a game worst -23. Even Joel himself admitted that he looked like “trash”. He appeared lethargic, leading people to suggest that maybe Embiid could use a night off.
Tonight, Embiid will get that night off, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
No Embiid tonight— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 7, 2018
Embiid has been averaging over 34 minutes per game this season — a lot for anyone with a 7+ foot frame and weighing in the mid-to-high 200s. Getting him a night off is wise and really, should have happened sooner. It’s just a shame that the rest comes on a night that the Sixers are playing a 4th place Detroit Pistons squad who is just a notch below Philly in the standings. On top of the Pistons being right on the Sixers’ tail, Embiid loves torturing Andre Drummond and the rest of the Pistons roster. Missing that robs us of some humorous theatrics.
In Joel’s absence, I expect Amir Johnson to get the start, but I do not expect starter minutes out of Amir, who has struggled this season. Look for Mike Muscala to get a lot of tick at the five, and possibly even some lineups in which Ben Simmons is responsible for guarding the opposing center for brief periods of time. Maybe we even get non-garbage time minutes from Jonah Bolden.