Sixers coach Brett Brown says Joel Embiid will not play in Game 1 vs. Heat

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid wears mask while warming up for the team’s NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

MIAMI — The Sixers will start the playoffs Saturday night without starting center Joel Embiid.

“[Embiid] will not play in Game 1,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning. “He will not play in Game 1 and from that point going forward, we’ll figure some stuff out. Unless something remarkable happens, Dan, I don’t plan on him playing in Game 1.”

The Sixers officially ruled out Embiid for Game 1 on Friday afternoon.

Embiid, who averaged 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 63 regular-season games, missed the final eight games of the regular season with an orbital bone fracture. He had surgery on the injury two weeks ago and will wear a mask when he does return.

Brown’s comments Friday morning is as definitive as the Sixers have been regarding Embiid’s status for the first game of the series. Embiid previously said it was “unlikely” he would play in Game 1 and Brown had called it “highly unlikely.”

Even without its All-Star center, Philadelphia has been playing well. The Sixers enter the playoffs on a 16-game winning streak, including an 8-0 record in the games Embiid has missed.

The 6-foot-9 Amir Johnson has started in Embiid’s place while he’s been out. Johnson is averaging 6.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 21.8 minutes while filling in for Embiid over the past eight games.

HEAT-76ERS PLAYOFF STUFF

[If the regular season is any indication, the Heat-76ers playoff series will be close … very close]

[A closer look at the first-round matchup between the Heat and 76ers. Which team has the edge?]

[Heat on series with Sixers, the hottest team in the NBA: ‘Streaks are meant to be broken’]

[Here’s the schedule for the Heat-76ers first-round series]

[Is Goran Dragic worried about his sore knee entering playoffs? ‘I’m going to feel it, but it’s not going to slow me down’]

[Spoelstra says the perfect picture of Ellington is ‘drenched in sweat, totally exhausted, working your ass off’]

[What did Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem celebrate Wednesday with champagne? ‘Our 15th year together’]

[Hassan Whiteside ready to do his ‘talking on the court’ against Sixers’ Joel Embiid]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

Reader Comments 0

0 comments