Joel Embiid Out for Game 2, Even After Clearing a Big Hurdle - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Joel Embiid Out for Game 2, Even After Clearing a Big Hurdle



    Joel Embiid Out for Game 2, Even After Clearing a Big Hurdle
    Joel Embiid out for Game 2, even after clearing a big hurdle

    CAMDEN, N.J. - Joel Embiid remains out for Game 2 of the Sixers' first-round series against the Heat.

    Embiid cleared the NBA's concussion protocol but is sidelined because of an orbital bone fracture in his left eye.

    He suffered the injury March 28 during a collision with Markelle Fultz. The Sixers have made adjustments since then, winning nine of their 17 straight in his absence.

    Brett Brown said the decision on Embiid's availability for Game 2 was not going to be based on whether the Sixers won or lost the series opener.

    "It's just what is best for Joel's health," he said. "And it's been determined that he should not play Game 2 for that reason."

    Their fast-paced, three-point-centric style has proven successful with an athletic roster deep with shooters. 

    Amir Johnson has been starting in place of Embiid. In their Game 1 blowout of the Heat, Brett Brown started Ersan Ilyasova at the five-spot in a pivotal third quarter to cause matchup challenges. Heat center Hassan Whiteside played only four minutes in the second half. 

    There is no timeframe for Embiid's return. He said he has been able to stay patient during these injuries because the team has been streaking without him. If the Sixers continue to win over the Heat like they did in Game 1, that could lessen the sense of rush for him to return. And when he does come back, the team is ready to bring him back into the mix.

    "We'll still play fast," JJ Redick said Sunday. "We'll play a little bit slower. We'll have a little more set plays to get him the ball in the post. But I don't think the philosophy changes all that much. Probably when we are at our best is when we are balancing sort of making sure he has touches in the post with that sort of flow action we've played with the last couple weeks."

    Embiid has stayed involved with the team during his injury. He donned a "Phantom of the Process" mask to ring the ceremonial bell at half court prior to Game 1.