Joel Embiid on Monday became the fourth Sixer to enter the league’s healthy and safety protocols.
The All-Star center was going to be out for Monday night’s game against the Knicks for a planned rest. It appears now he’ll miss even more time. Embiid will likely not play in a big showdown against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the defending champion Bucks Tuesday.
Embiid is coming off easily his best offensive performance of the young season (30 points on 11 of 19, including 4 of 5 from three) in another impressive win over the Bulls Saturday. With that said, the Sixers’ schedule is about to get a little tougher in both competition and logistically.
The team has a three-game homestand starting Monday, but they play three quality opponents in New York, Milwaukee and then Toronto on Thursday. They then embark on a six-game road trip, which includes stops in Utah, Denver and San Francisco to take on the West-best Warriors.
Ben Simmons (personal reasons) remains out. As do Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle and Isaiah Joe while in the league’s health and safety protocols. Danny Green (left hamstring tightness), who has missed the last threes game, is listed as questionable but did participate in shootaround this morning.
The good news is the Sixers’ hot start at 8-2 puts them in an advantageous spot to rest players and be more cautious so early in the season. On top of that, the team has played exceptionally well despite being shorthanded just about every game. With all that said, a prolonged Embiid absence could put a damper on things in a hurry.
Andre Drummond was spectacular in his lone start of the season last week against Portland. The veteran big man stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, and a block. The Sixers will need similar production from the two-time All-Star while Embiid is out.