Sixers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Pistons With Joel Embiid Out

For the first time in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers have opted to give Joel Embiid a day off. After his red-hot start to the season, it seems fatigue may have slowed him down just a bit. With the team set to face the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, fans will have to wait a few days to see Embiid’s rematch with Andre Drummond.

Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported the news, as Sixers coach Brett Brown explained the decision.

Joel Embiid is not playing tonight (rest). Brett Brown says it’s their responsibility to preserve players health and it was clear he was fatigued.

— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 7, 2018

The decision isn’t all that surprising, although the Sixers playing in a nationally televised game here likely made this a tough decision for Embiid to take in stride. The 24-year-old center loves big games such as this one, but the fatigue was apparent and it was a good spot to rest him.

Embiid is coming off arguably his worst showing of the season, tying a season-low with 10 points and shooting 29.4 percent from the field in a loss to the Toronto Raptors. It was a rare poor game for him, though, as the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft has averaged 26.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over 26 games.

The Sixers have two days off after Friday’s game, but then Embiid will get another chance to square off with Drummond. The two teams are set to meet again on Monday, with the game being played in Philadelphia.

Sixers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Pistons

*Notates expected starter

C: Mike Muscala*, Amir Johnson*
PF: Wilson Chandler*, Jonah Bolden
SF: Jimmy Butler*, Furkan Korkmaz
SG: JJ Redick*, Landry Shamet
PG: Ben Simmons*, T.J. McConnell

*It’s worth pointing out that Brown revealed he’s unsure on whether he’ll start Amir Johnson or Mike Muscala, per Serena Winters.

Brett Brown said they’re still deciding whether Amir Johnson or Mike Muscala will start in Joel Embiid’s (sitting out, rest) place tonight.

— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 7, 2018

Although Muscala has played far more than Johnson this season, the matchup with Drummond isn’t exactly appealing for either. You could argue the veteran in Johnson is a better defender, but Muscala has two inches on his teammate which may come into play against one of the NBA’s best rebounders.

Muscala has also seen far more playing time this season, averaging a career-high 23.7 minutes per game along with 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds. As for Johnson, he’s actually playing the fewest minutes of his career (10.3) and averaging 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

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