In the season-opening win over the Boston Celtics, the Sixers’ Joel Embiid and Mike Scott suffered ankle sprains, and they are questionable for Saturday in Detroit against the Pistons.
Embiid has a right ankle sprain and didn’t practice Friday. Scott has a left ankle sprain and did individual work.
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It is not known when Embiid suffered his injury. He reported discomfort in the ankle after the game and it was determined that he had a sprain.
In the win Wednesday, Embiid also suffered a cut lip, but a team official said that had nothing to do with his being listed as questionable for Saturday. Embiid did receive stitches and had a minor dental procedure.
"It is part of the rhythm of the NBA 82-game schedule,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said of the injuries. “You move on, you really do. They are getting good care and being well looked after and you move on.”
Scott injured his ankle, got retaped, and returned to action.
In the opener Embiid played 23 minutes, 15 seconds and totaled 15 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 3 assists, and no turnovers. He shot 5-for-14 from the field and committed five fouls
Scott played 16:17 and had six points (2-for-7 shooting) and six rebounds.
Point guard Ben Simmons said the Sixers have a next-man-up mentality.
“You still have to attack them, [there is] still a game, we have guys out there who can get the win,” Simmons said. “Obviously we want them back, but if not, guys have to step up. It’s like any other game.”
Forward Tobias Harris had a similar outlook.
“We have so much talent, we have to put somebody in and let’s roll with it," Harris said.
In a lighthearted moment, Harris complained that Scott wasn’t available for their three-point shooting contest at the end of practice. When the Sixers went on a preseason road trip, Scott beat Harris and won his per diem money for the trip.
Before beginning his interview, Harris asked, “Has anybody seen Mike Scott?”
When told he had a sprained ankle, Harris, quipped, “That is an excuse.”
Harris feigned anger, saying he wanted to win some per diem money.
Maybe next road trip.
If Embiid can’t go, Al Horford will move from power forward to center.
Last season Embiid played a career-high 64 games, but his injury history gives added importance to the addition of center Kyle O’Quinn, signed as a free agent after playing last year for the Indiana Pacers.
O’Quinn played only 3:43 against Boston but had five points, making both shots, including a three-pointer. He comes off the bench with an abundance of energy.
“When you kind of do the math, like how many games you think Jo [Embiid] is going to play, how many games you think Al [Horford] is going to play and you start doing that and then there is injury and foul trouble, whatever. That’s the role that I shared with him when we recruited him. That is the role he has and he has tremendous value,” Brown said about O’Quinn. “... He is really just a physical, high-energy player who fits the way we want to play.”
Detroit (1-1) is coming off a 117-100 home loss Thursday to Atlanta. The Pistons also have their own injury problems. Six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin won’t play against the Sixers.