The Sixers are going to be without either of their main big men for Thursday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the news could be worse.
Joel Embiid has sat out the first three games since the All-Star break to rest a sore knee, and he was always going to be re-evaluated in one week. It also was always a smart bet he would be out longer, which is what will happen. Coach Brett Brown broke the news, with an update coming before a big weekend showdown with the Warriors.
It’s still too early to really worry for Sixers fans (outside of the level of concern that should always accompany the words “Embiid” and “injury”) but if he sits out the nationally televised game on Saturday, that’s a bigger red flag. Even if resting Embiid now is the smart play.
On the bright side, Boban Marjanovic‘s MRI came back negative from the knee injury he suffered in the final minutes of the Sixers win over the Pelicans on Monday.
He will be out for a week or so with a bone bruise and mild sprain of his knee. That could have been much worse.
Expect a lot of Jonah Bolden (who started Monday) and Amir Johnson for Philly. The challenge here is who the Sixers are facing. Oklahoma City is one of the better teams in the league and has a physical presence in the paint in Steven Adams who they could use Embiid to match up with. After that comes the Warriors and DeMarcus Cousins, who has struggled some of late but is still a force of nature.