It’s official. Joel Embiid will not play in Game 1 of the 76ers’ opening-round playoff series with the Miami Heat. That game will be 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.
The decision to not play Embiid is far from shocking. The Sixers had said it would be “optimistic” and “unlikely” that he would play in Game 1. However, coach Brett Brown made it official Friday morning on the “Dan Patrick Show.”
“He will not play in Game 1, and from that point going forward, we’ll figure some out,” Brown told Patrick. “Unless something remarkable happens, Dan, I don’t plan on him playing in Game 1.”
Embiid has been sidelined since fracturing the orbital bone near his left eye and suffering a concussion against the New York Knicks on March 28.
This will mark the ninth straight game Embiid has been sidelined. The Sixers won the previous eight en route to ending the season with a 16-game winning streak.
His presence will be missed against the Heat and center Hassan Whiteside. Even with Embiid, the Sixers had no answers for Whiteside in the teams’ last meeting back on March 8. Whiteside had a game-high 26 points on 9-for-12 shooting in a 108-99 Heat victory. Whiteside also had eight rebounds and two blocked shots.