By Jerry Wein
Joel Embiid didn’t play last night for the Sixers in Indy.
You may have noticed.
He didn’t even make the trip.
With a three-game lead and the tiebreaker over Brooklyn with four games to play, the Sixers rested Embiid for the first time in nine games.
Embiid can afford to miss one of the Sixers’ final three games and still qualify for the list of NBA scoring and rebounding leaders by having appeared in at least 70 percent of the scheduled games. That would be helpful to his MVP candidacy.
With a game Thursday in Miami and visits from Orlando Friday and Sunday, the Sixers knew they would have opportunities beyond the Indiana test.
“Whenever you are trying to achieve something, whether it is Venus Williams needing one more to have the most victories to whatever, it’s never easy to close anything out,” coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s just life.”