ORLANDO — No surprise here: Joel Embiid will not play tonight for the 76ers against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
This will be the second game of a back-to-back, and the All-Star center will get the night off to rest his left knee.
Also, reserve guard Trey Burke (left calf tightness) is able to play. Burke, who missed Tuesday’s victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, went through testing before tonight’s game to determine his status.
The Sixers also will be without reserve post player Jonah Bolden, who has been assigned to their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats. He is expected to play in this weekend’s Blue Coats games. The G League will provide additional practice and game reps for Bolden, who played a total of only five minutes for the Sixers.
For Embiid, this will be the fourth game of the team’s 11 that he has missed this season. He was sidelined Oct. 26 against the Detroit Pistons with a sprained right ankle. Then Embiid served a two-game suspension (Portland Trail Blazers, Nov. 2 and Phoenix Suns, Nov. 4) for fighting Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.
However, tonight’s absence is part of his overall care plan, part of an effort to keep him healthy for the entire season and the postseason.
The 25-year-old was hampered by tendinitis in his left knee late last season. He missed 14 of the final 24 regular-season games, plus Game 3 of the Sixers’ opening-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
Embiid is averaging 23 points, 12.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks and 28.7 minutes this season. He finished with 27 points and 16 rebounds in Tuesday’s 98-97 victory over the Cavaliers. His dunk with 13.2 seconds left proved to be the difference.