The 76ers are used to dealing with the swelling in Joel Embiid's right hand.
That's because their star center has had problems with that hand since last season. Back on Oct. 28, 2017, Embiid bruised it in a road game against the Dallas Mavericks. The following day, his hand was swollen and covered in medical tape.
Then he sprained the hand two months later in a game against the Phoenix Suns. He stayed in that game and X-rays were negative. He appeared to reinjure the hand a couple of games ago.
"It's the frequent part of the beat-down," coach Brett Brown said of Embiid's continued swelling. "It's the frequent part of the physical play. I believe it's nothing more than that."
However, Brown is concerned about the hand, just as he's concerned that the big man is playing too many minutes. Embiid averages 34.9 minutes per game, which is tied for 13th in the league with Chicago Bulls small forward Justin Holiday and Los Angeles Clippers small forward Tobias Harris.
"It's Joel Embiid," Brown said, "and we all get the importance that represents to our program."
At some point, the coach hopes to give him a game off. The Sixers are discussing a time to do that. On Paper, Friday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Wells Fargo Center would be a great time. Cleveland has a league-worst 2-13 record.
Rookie Jonah Bolden suffered a cortical crack in the proximal fibula of his right leg Saturday while playing for the team's NBA G-League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats. He will be re-evaluated in 10 days. Brown said he learned about the injury at 5 p.m. Monday and is unsure of how long Bolden will be sidelined.
This marks the second consecutive season a Sixer was injured while on assignment with the Blue Coats; Furkan Korkmaz was sidelined 43 games after injuring his left foot last season.
"I think it would be a mistake to connect conspiracy theory dots," Brown said. "It might be coincidental. Does it give us cold feet that we are sending people down there that could get injured? No, like an aggressive no."
Brown reasons that they have to be down there to get playing time they wouldn't get with the Sixers.
The Sixers led the league in total rebounds with 927. Their average of 48.8 per game ranks third behind the Portland Trail Blazers (51.6) and Milwaukee Bucks (51.3). They had 53 in Monday's victory over the Suns, making it the seventh time with 50 or more. The Sixers have outrebounded their opponents in 16 of the 19 games.
The Sixers will be among 200 volunteers – including military members — who will package 2,000 holiday stockings, 2,000 hygiene kits, and 1,000 box lunches Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County in Camden. The packages will go to service members in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for veterans at the Veteran Affairs Hospital.