Jahlil Okafor sits again; Sixers say he'll play soon

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Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor shoots against the Boston Celtics during first half action on Sunday, March 19, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pa. Okafor did not play in the second half as the Sixers defeated the Celtics 105-99.

ORLANDO - The 76ers say they have no plans to shut down Jahlil Okafor for the rest of the season because of his sore right knee.

Monday's matchup against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center marked the seventh game this season that the center missed because of knee soreness. It also sidelined him Sunday in the second half of a 105-99 victory over the Boston Celtics.

His status for Wednesday's game against the Thunder in Oklahoma City has yet to be determined. The Sixers are listing him as day-to-day.

"Not at all, because I think we would overdramatize something that doesn't need to be overdramatized," coach Brett Brown said of holding Okafor out for the remaining 12 games. "You look around the league. This is commonplace."

Brown said the Sixers would get Okafor back during this five-game road trip because of what he called a "lacked of severity" in the injury.

"He'll play good basketball again," the coach said. "So it isn't anything that we are thinking about at all, about shutting him down."

However, it can be argued that Okafor's knee soreness is not commonplace, as Brown suggested.

Okafor has been dealing with the soreness since he had knee surgery on March 22, 2016, to repair the meniscus. The injury cost the NBA all-rookie selection the final 23 games of last season.

"I think when you sort of watch him and talk with him and see him move, it's not as dramatic as it seems that you could manufacture a story to make it to be," Brown insisted. "Right now, we anticipate him playing soon."

Okafor, 21, was not available for comment before the game as he rested in the training room. He is averaging 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds this season.

Vogel's mentor

Orlando coach Frank Vogel says he owes a lot to Sixers associate head coach Jim O'Brien. O'Brien has been Vogel's mentor from the time the Magic coach was a student manager at Kentucky. At the time, O'Brien was a Wildcats assistant coach.

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