Mimes troll voice: Joel is DUCKING Deandre Ayton!!!!
Welp... for those who were hoping that Joel Embiid would be back in the lineup for a road tilt vs. the lowly Portland Trailblazers, it appears that is not to be. The Sixers have ruled Embiid out ahead of that matchup with left knee soreness.
Sixers center Joel Embiid (left knee) will miss tonight’s game vs. the Portland Trail Blazers, according to league sources.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) January 29, 2024
The Sixers have already drawn some scrutiny from the NBA front office, after failing to list Embiid as “questionable” on the injury report in time ahead of the game he missed vs. Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets Saturday. It now appears they’ll be investigated for that flub, per Shams Charania, as Joel was initially listed as available, then popped up on the report just 15 minutes or so before game time. And he was surprisingly scratched from the ballgame officially five minutes before the scheduled tip-off. Super weird.
So what’s going on? Is he more seriously hurt than the team has let on? He appeared to tweak his right knee in the game vs. Indiana, but it’s the left one he’s missing games with now?
Embiid with a slightly awkward landing leads to a concerning sight as he is clearly in pain with the right knee pic.twitter.com/5NDQbif270— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) January 26, 2024
Did he come into that game vs. Indiana favoring the left knee (which recently cost him a few games) then bang the right knee and continue to play?
Perhaps he compensated and leaned on or hopped around on the left one a bit too much after that collision with Myles Turner.
My hunch is that the left knee has been and continues to reallllllly bug him and the team’s medical and coaching staff thinks it’s better to let the others do the heavy lifting here vs. a lowly Blazers squad. It’s also the first half of a back-to-back with the team taking on the Warriors Tuesday in San Francisco.
“[Joel Embiid’s] just managing this knee injury, and I think he full intended to try to play in Denver, he was the one who said to the team: ‘I’m playing, don’t even put me on the injury report,’ but that knee is an issue that he’s going to have to manage for the rest of the…— Philly Sixers Galaxy (@sixers_galaxy) January 29, 2024
But still, it’s a pretty weird scenario and forces us to wonder what’s really going on. What do we not know about this developing situation? One night he’s hurt, one night the dude drops 70 points, then he’s able to play, but wait, no, he’s not... and he’s out again. So then why wasn’t he listed as even questionable a few days ago.... he’s ALWAYS at least listed as questionable.
I don’t have answers. All I know is that I’ve already written perhaps a dozen “Sixers have trouble with injury management” pieces, and I’m imagining myself being forced to write another half dozen before this season comes to an end.
With this next absence, Joel can only miss another five games total and remain eligible to win his second MVP trophy.
Sixers forward Tobias Harris (flu) and point guard Tyrese Maxey (sprained left ankle) officially remain questionable for tonight’s game vs. the Trail Blazers. Harris, however said before shootaround that he will attempt to give it a try.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) January 29, 2024
Perhaps there is optimism among the team that Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris can suit up for this one and help secure the win.
But yeesh... this team never fails to leave us scratching our heads with Embiid’s injury management.