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November 13, 2019

Joel Embiid out for Wednesday's game vs. Orlando; Sixers designate Jonah Bolden for assignment

15_Joel_Embiid_Sixers_76ersvsCeltics_KateFrese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Sixers center Joel Embiid.

Joel Embiid is out for Wednesday's Sixers game vs. the Orlando Magic, PhillyVoice was told on Wednesday afternoon.

The reasoning behind Embiid's absence was stated officially as, "injury maintenance, left knee soreness," though that gives off the impression that Embiid has some sort of new issue after appearing in Tuesday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Missing the second half of a back-to-back, however, fits within the scope of preparing for the long-term with Embiid and making sure he's at his best for the playoffs.

Some additional league-wide context to consider — the Los Angeles Clippers recently picked up a $50,000 fine for comments made by Doc Rivers about their load management plan for Kawhi Leonard. The head coach claimed Leonard "feels great" and that resting him was "not a health thing," which ran counter to the league's understanding of the treatment of Leonard's left patella tendon.

This is editorializing so take it for what it's worth, but in other words, the Sixers need to designate Embiid this way because it sounds better for the league as a means to communicate this to the public. Missing the game in Orlando is very much part of Philly's plan for Embiid, and no one should view this as an abnormality with his health.

There are a few other Sixers notes to consider heading into Wednesday's game:

  1. Trey Burke will be questionable for the game heading in with the same tightness in his left calf that kept him out of Tuesday's win over Cleveland. Burke is expected to test out the calf before the game on Wednesday night, at which point there will be a ruling on his availability.
  2. Al Horford will be back in the lineup on Wednesday night after his planned rest day on Tuesday. Two-way player Norvel Pelle will also be with the team for the game against the Magic, providing the Sixers with a third big man in Embiid's absence.
  3. Jonah Bolden has been designated for assignment with the Delaware Blue Coats, having appeared only in garbage time situations so far this season. The Sixers wanted to make sure he gets additional practice and playing time since he is not getting any of the latter with the parent club, and they expect him to appear for the Blue Coats in games over the weekend. Delaware has a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday against the Long Island Nets and Canton Charge respectively.

Outside of that, just prepare for the first meeting between the Sixers and their former No. 1 overall pick, Markelle Fultz.

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