Updated: 7:00 p.m.
This is not the news Sixers fans or the folks at ESPN wanted, but Joel Embiid (illness) will miss his second straight game vs. the Celtics Friday night.
Embiid also missed the Sixers’ loss in New Orleans on Wednesday night. It will mark the third game the reigning MVP has missed this season — and the first two went very poorly.
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve now learned both Tyrese Maxey and Nicolas Batum are out, leaving the Sixers without three starters.
A little while ago, we learned that Maxey is also dealing with an illness and was downgraded to questionable. Nick Nurse told reporters in Boston pregame that both Maxey and Nicolas Batum, who re-injured his right index finger vs. the Pelicans, would be game-time decisions. Apparently neither player felt well enough to give it a go.
Young guard Jaden Springer is available after missing the past three games with likely the same illness Embiid and Maxey are currently dealing with. Veteran wings Kelly Oubre, Jr. (fractured rib) and Danuel House, Jr. (left quad contusion) remain out for the Sixers.
The Celtics will be without big man Kristaps Porzinigs, but otherwise have a clean injury report. Boston is tied for the best record in the NBA at 14-4. A stiff test for the Sixers gets a whole lot tougher without Embiid, Maxey and Batum.