Sixers' Joel Embiid is 'available' to play in back-to-backs, against Bucks on Monday

Bulls 76ers Basketball
Sixers center Joel Embiid in action during an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Philadelphia.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Barring a setback, Joel Embiid will play Monday night against the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

For the first time in his two-year NBA career the 76ers center will play on consecutive nights. He and his teammates lost 122-112 to the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“I just got told I was available,” Embiid said before Sunday’s game. “I think it’s depending on how I feel after the game. But I expect to feel great, because my body has been feeling really good.

“Hopefully, I will play [Monday].”

He has missed at least one game of the five back-to-back situations the Sixers have had this season.

In all, Embiid has missed nine games because of rest and minor injuries.

“Obviously, I really want to play,” he said. “I feel like that’s the missing part of my NBA career.”

 All-star snub motivation?

Ben Simmons has been on fire in his first two games after his NBA All-Star Game snub. The Sixers’ rookie point guard had 19 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. That was the night after the All-Star reserves were announced. He followed up that performance with 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting on Friday against the San Antonio Spurs.

Simmons downplayed the snub being his motivation.

“At the end of the day, I was looking at it like the coaches are going to pick, the players are going to pick. How is it going to work in my favor?” he said. “I’m a young guy coming into the league. It’s my first year. Obviously, if I was a vet, I probably wouldn’t pick a rookie.

“So it is what it is.”

Bayless not quite there

Jerryd Bayless hoped to return to action Monday from a left-wrist injury that has sidelined him for four games.

However, the combo guard gave the impression Sunday that his return will be delayed a little longer.

“It feels OK,” Bayless said. “It’s not there, yet. But it feels OK.”