Newly-named NBA All-Star reserve, Joel Embiid, is still questionable due to left foot soreness when the Philadelphia 76ers take on the San Antonio Spurs. It will be his fifth straight game with that designation but he’s been available in Philly’s previous four matches.
Over his last four games, Embiid is averaging 32.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He hasn’t been slowed down by the injury whenever he steps on the court.
For nearly two months, the Philadelphia 76ers have arguably been the hottest team in the NBA due to the MVP-level play of “The Process.” They have steadily caught up with the Milwaukee Bucks for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference with a 33-17 mark.
Philly could give Embiid some rest tonight as they will be facing the San Antonio Spurs, owners of the second-worst record in the NBA. If he is unavailable, Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed could get more playing time.
Meanwhile, Rudy Gobert has also been ruled questionable by the Minnesota Timberwolves for tonight’s matchup against the Orlando Magic. The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year has been playing through a right groin soreness over the last two weeks.
Gobert finally sat out in the Timberwolves’ 119-114 overtime win against the Golden State Warriors. His return to action will be uncertain as he has reportedly been kept from practicing with the team.
The French basketball star didn’t make a fourth straight NBA All-Star selection, but he remains a solid player. He is averaging 13.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks this season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in the midst of a heated battle for at least a top 6 spot in the standings to avoid the play-in. They currently hold a 28-26 record, just half a game ahead of the seventh-seed Phoenix Suns’ 27-26 win-loss slate.
A healthy Gobert will be crucial for the Timberwolves, who may likely sideline him tonight. Naz Reid should start again if the three-time NBA All-Star is unavailable.
Marcus Smart: Right ankle sprain; Injured since January 21, 2023
Marcus Smart sprained his right ankle in the Boston Celtics’ 106-104 win over the Toronto Raptors last Jan. 21. He was supposed to miss just 1-2 weeks. Smart has now missed five games and doesn’t look like he’s returning in two weeks.
The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year reportedly hasn’t been engaged in any basketball activity. There is a big chance that the Boston Celtics will re-activate him only after the All-Star break.
Marcus Smart may not suit up for the defending NBA Eastern Conference champions until Feb. 23 against the Indiana Pacers.
Jerami Grant: Concussion; Injured since February 1, 2023
Jerami Grant did not play in the second half of the game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies. He exited early due to concussion symptoms but still contributed 18 points and three rebounds.
Grant will miss the Trail Blazers’ game tonight versus the Washington Wizards. He will undergo a few more tests, which leaves his return still iffy in the next few games.
Portland could conceivably activate him on Feb. 10 against the OKC Thunder. Nassir Little, Jabari Walker and Trendon Watford are expected to see more playing time without Jerami Grant.