Joel Embiid questionable against Jazz with knee soreness
The Philadelphia 76ers (8-7) are coming off of a disappointing loss at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, blowing a 24-point lead and allowing the defending champs to outscore them 47-15 in the third quarter. The bench unit of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Richaun Holmes and T.J. McConnell weren't very effective as each of the five starters played 33+ minutes. With Justin Anderson unavailable and others nursing injuries, the Sixers played eight guys and it showed with fatigue down the stretch.
On Monday night, the Sixers play host to a Jazz (7-10) team they defeated on the road on November 8, and they could be even more short-handed than they were on Saturday. Here's the latest update on the wounded Sixers provided at shoot-around on Monday morning.
Justin Anderson - Tibial stress syndrome (shin splints), left leg, out
Jerryd Bayless - Left wrist contusion, available for tonight's game - After seeing the lack of shooting depth from the Sixers reserve unit on Saturday, Bayless' return could not have come at a better time. TLC has not looked consistent, or very good for that matter, in extended minutes, so expect Bayless to hop right back into Brown's rotation off the bench. Although the fan base doesn't seem to be big on Jerryd Bayless, his 11 points per game should help as he's shooting 46.1 percent from the floor and 42.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Joel Embiid - Left knee soreness, questionable, game-time decision - Well, this was not the way we wanted to start Monday after the Eagles game. That being said, Embiid has played a big chunk of minutes since his last day of rest on November 8 against this very Jazz team, so soreness is something you almost expect after his knee injury last year. Joel is not at full speed, but he's shown that he can be dominant on both ends of the court during the Sixers' road trip out west, where he played 30+ minutes in three of the four contests for which he was active. If he has some soreness in the knee, you'd think the medical staff would remain cautious and sit him, but Embiid will likely test it prior to the game to see if he can go. He was seen shooting three's in what looks like red sandals at shoot-around today and told reporters after practice that the decision is up to him whether he plays tonight or not.
Markelle Fultz - Right shoulder soreness/scapular muscle imbalance, out - The 19-year-old out of the University of Washington has made good progress and after seeing a specialist on Sunday, his injury looks to be getting better gradually. The Sixers announced that the soreness in his shoulder is dissipating and the imbalance is improving. He'll be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks.
Richaun Holmes - Gastroenteritis, questionable - If Joel Embiid can't go, this will make a Sixers win a little more difficult. With Holmes and Embiid potentially unable to play, that'll push Amir Johnson into a starting role with Dario Saric likely to get minutes at center. Also, do the Sixers have the most cases of gastroenteritis in the NBA?
Nik Stauskas - Sprained right ankle, out - Sauce has only played in three games this season with limited minutes and he sprained his ankle in practice a couple of weeks ago. The Sixers sure could have used his shooting off the bench on Saturday. There's no listed timetable for his return.
Obviously, the big injury news here is Embiid. Hopefully his soreness is just a result of increased minutes combined with ramping up to full speed after undergoing surgery to repair a meniscus tear in February. The Sixers beat the Jazz on the road without him on November 8, but if they also have to go without Holmes, it'll be a tough test.
Brandon Apter is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.