Joel Embiid continues to deal with knee soreness.
The 25-year-old star is “questionable” for Game 2 of the 76ers’ opening-round series Monday against the Nets, the team announced.
Embiid was listed as “doubtful” for the first game of the matchup. But, he took the floor and tallied 22 points, along with 15 rebounds, in 24 minutes of action. The 76ers, however, were surprisingly topped by sixth-seeded Brooklyn, 111-102 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Embiid missed five of the 76ers last seven regular-season games. Philadelphia coach Brett Brown described Embiid’s injury as a “slippery slope” when he met with reporters after practice Sunday.
“We are the recipient of Jo trying to inch along slowly and buy time,” Brown said (via The Philly Voice). “You win a game, two more days, you win a game, three more days, you might drop one, four more days. How do you deliver him responsibly to a later date in ultimately what you hope will be a deep playoff run?”
The two-time All-Star averaged 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game in 2018-19. He shot 48.4 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range.
“It’s not as clear cut as you thought it would be on ‘how do you maintain a fitness base and still get his knee rest?’” Brown said. “What do we do to help him most now? I believe a solid plan is in place that can deliver him responsibly, incrementally to later dates.”
Embiid was involved in controversy during Game 1 as he was seen looking at Amir Johnson’s cell phone on the bench. Johnson was fined for the incident.
D’Angelo Russell scored 26 points to lead Brooklyn to the victory. Jimmy Butler poured in a game-high 36 points for the 76ers in the losing effort.