Joel Embiid said he would have loved to battle the Memphis Grizzlies again. The 76ers center and his team, however, decided it would be better to face the Denver Nuggets instead, on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
"Obviously, I wanted to play against Memphis again because … of [center] Marc Gasol," Embiid said after Monday's shootaround. "He's a great guy I can play against.
"But we got Denver especially at home. I know the fans want to see the team. They want to see me play. That was a big factor into deciding to play this game."
The 7-foot-2, 276-pounder had to make a decision because the team hasn't allowed him to play in both games of back-to-back situations. The Sixers (4-16) will travel to Memphis after Monday night's game and face the Grizzlies on Tuesday at FedExForum.
"Playing in front of our fans is really important to us," Embiid said. "We got to win those types of games. So getting a win tonight would be good for us."
The Nuggets (7-13) provide a great opportunity for the Sixers to snap their six-game losing streak. Denver has lost three straight and five of its last six.
The Sixers are taking things slowly with Embiid since the third overall pick of the 2014 draft missed the past two seasons with right foot surgeries. He's already missed seven games this season and has his minutes restricted for precautionary reasons.
Embiid is averaging 18.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots. He's shooting 51.4 percent on three-pointers. Embiid finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots on Nov. 23 against the Grizzlies.