76ers’ Embiid (knee soreness) out for Game 3

Field Level Media

April 19, 2019 at 12:52 am.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will miss Game 3 of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night because of left knee soreness.

Greg Monroe started in his place.

Embiid’s left knee has been an issue throughout the season, costing him 14 regular-season games since Feb. 21.

In the first two games of the current series, which was tied 1-1 following the 76ers’ 145-123 win in Game 2 on Monday, Embiid averaged 22.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game.

While Embiid’s 23 points and 10 rebounds helped the 76ers on the court in Game 2, it was the elbow he delivered that drew a flagrant foul, and his reaction to the play was the talk of the series off the court in recent days.

Embiid was whistled for a Flagrant 1 foul after a vicious elbow that caught the jaw of Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen during the 76ers’ victory. Embiid apologized for the elbow during the postgame press conference but broke into laughter with teammate Ben Simmons doing it.

Some Brooklyn Nets players took exception to the laughing during the apology, calling it “disrespectful.”

“We didn’t really like that,” Nets guard Caris LeVert said Wednesday. “We thought that was kind of disrespectful, especially after the elbow he threw. There’s no love lost. It’s a playoff series. We expect that.”

Embiid said Simmons laughed because “I’m not usually humble,” an explanation accepted by the Nets’ Jared Dudley as Embiid being a “silly guy.” However, Dudley didn’t fully excuse it.

“I felt a certain type of way for it just because you’re laughing and someone could have really gotten hurt,” Dudley said. “That’s been Embiid’s personality, but just because it’s your personality doesn’t mean it’s right. So, for us, you can either get even however you want to do it, but the biggest thing for us to get even is winning Game 3.”

Embiid averaged 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds in 33.7 minutes in 64 regular-season games this season, his third in the NBA. All marks were the best of his career thus far.

Embiid has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. A broken bone in his right foot cost him the entirety of his first two NBA seasons. And in the three seasons in which he has played, he has missed 88 of the 76ers’ regular-season games.