File this one under things to keep an eye on as the NBA season prepares to begin its restart.
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid sat out Sunday’s scrimmage against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to right calf tightness and will be re-evaluated on Monday.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown downplayed the decision to sit Embiid, who has a long history of injury issues.
“It’s the second game,” Brown said. “If this had happened three to four games into what we are calling the regular season, [yes]. There is always frustration, selfish frustration, and I know frustration, at times, for Joel. But initially, [we’re] just trying to be smart with everything and move on.”
Embiid began to feel the tightness during Friday’s scrimmage against the Grizzlies, playing just under 13 minutes instead of the planned 18 to 20 minutes.
When asked if this could lead to Embiid missing some of the seeding games, Brown said that they were “just getting out in front of stuff, and being smart with it.”
Embiid averaged 23.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 blocks per game in 44 games with the Sixers this season.
The Sixers are currently tied for fifth place with the Indiana Pacers, and are two games behind the Miami Heat for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. They hold an 8.5 game lead over the Brooklyn Nets for the sixth seed, so Philadelphia would not finish any lower than sixth.