Sixers vs. Grizzlies on a Monday night.

Personally, I was looking forward to seeing Joel Embiid and Ja Morant get after it. Two of the most exciting guys in the NBA right now. They deliver pretty much every night.

We will not be getting this matchup because Embiid is being given a rest:


Commence jokes about Embiid and resting, jokes that are stupid because Embiid just played 21 straight games and hasn’t taken a break in forever. He missed time because of COVID at the beginning of the year, but has since put the Ben Simmons-less Sixers on his shoulders through late fall and into the winter. Perhaps somewhat ironically, the last game he missed was also against Memphis, which was the road game he sat out due to rib soreness.

In truth, the Embiid fitness story hasn’t really been much of a thing this season. In a normal year, he’d be taking regular breaks and getting a load management or maintenance day every so often. Simmons would carry the team in those games, but with “Simmo the Savage” absent while playing Call of Duty or whatever, Embiid has essentially forfeited that normal body upkeep routine to pull this team up the Eastern Conference standings.

The Sixers next play on Wednesday, so Embiid will go three days without seeing the floor. That midweek game is in Washington, then it’s off to Dallas on Friday night, followed by games with Chicago and Phoenix. Then we hit the trade deadline, and we’ll finally find out whether or not Simmons is dealt.