Joel Embiid came into the season saying he wants to be on the court more — if he is going to win Defensive Player of the Year or be in the running for MVP, he’s got to play in more games. He played in 64 games last season, 63 the one before that, and a lengthy injury history Philadelphia is going to be heavy on the load management with him.
Embiid is out Friday night with a sprained ankle, something reported by Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
After the 76ers season-opening win against the Celtics, Embiid felt some discomfort in his ankle and was listed as questionable for this game.
Unlike last season, this version of Philadelphia is better equipped to deal with life without Embiid. Al Horford will slide over and play center against Andre Drummond and the shorthanded Pistons (Blake Griffin remains out for them with hamstring and knee injuries). Kyle O'Quinn will come off the bench behind Horford at the five. That’s solid depth.
The Sixers are on the road for six of their next seven games, with the only home contest against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Sixers could use Embiid back during that stretch.