January 30, 2017
Despite the fact that he went bonkers on Friday night against the Houston Rockets (32 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks), it didn't appear like Joel Embiid was moving at 100 percent out there. If anything, that performance is a testament to the Sixers third-year rookie's talent level.
Embiid, who returned just a week after tweaking his knee against Portland, admitted that he felt soreness in his knee after the game. He was told by a doctor that the injury was a bone bruise, which usually takes take two to three weeks to heal. Still, the 22-year-old center bargained his way into the lineup and played at an extremely high level.
“They didn’t want me to push it, they didn’t want me to play at all,” Embiid said of the Sixers medical staff. “I had to convince them. There’s a trust between me and them.”
The decision to let Embiid play against Houston on national television now comes more into question now that he is out for Monday's make-up game against Sacramento with that same left knee contusion and doubtful (an understatement, considering the plan isn't for him to travel) for the Dallas-San Antonio back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday. According to the Sixers, no decision has been made for the last two games of the trip (at Miami and Detroit).
Sixers coach Brett Brown admitted that Embiid was dealing with more soreness before Monday's game.
"There isn't anything odd going on," Brown said. "We feel like it's best for him to get him where he needs to be and keep him behind. The resources that we have here and the rest he can get while he's here, nobody needs to feel like there's a conspiracy theory here. There isn't. It's just we feel like we can do the best job for Joel in this environment."
Jahlil Okafor, who has received many a DNP-CD as of late, will start against the Sacramento Kings in Embiid's place. He will be backed up by Nerlens Noel.
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