Sixers to Start Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor Together for 1st Time

The Sixers on Wednesday night will start Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor alongside each other for the first time when Brett Brown's club welcomes the Raptors (7/CSN).

Both big men started the season on minutes restrictions and splitting back-to-back sets. Okafor's playing allowance has been lifted, while Embiid is now restricted to 28 minutes.

The Sixers held off on playing the two together until Dec. 3, when the team lost, 105-88, to the Magic but saw its talented frontcourt options together for 13 minutes. Both have not seen the court together since as the schedule for Embiid hasn't aligned with Okafor, who missed three straight games with gastroenteritis.

Instead of a crowded post on offense, Brown said on Dec. 3 that the biggest dilemma was defensively.

“It’s not offense to me, it’s defense. That’s the thing that is most challenging,” the head coach said. “We want to play fast. We want to put points on the board. You don’t want to play in the 80s. You don’t want to do that, that’s not our sport anymore. So you want to make sure that you're capable of guarding the opposition.”

Brown said pregame tonight that Okafor will cover the four, while Embiid will guard the opposing center spot.

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Rounding out the starting five is Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson and Robert Covington.

Other center Nerlens Noel is out with a left ankle sprain.

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