Joel Embiid of 76ers Out Against Nuggets Due to Knee, 6 Games Away from MVP Eligibility

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was ruled out for a game against the Denver Nuggets due to left knee soreness, marking his 11th missed game this season.
‣ Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players must participate in at least 65 regular-season games to be eligible for MVP and the All-NBA teams, meaning Embiid can only miss six more of Philadelphia’s remaining 38 games this season.
‣ This absence will likely affect Embiid’s MVP odds, which currently rank second-best below Nikola Jokic according to multiple NBA betting sites.


Joel Embiid, the center for the Philadelphia 76ers, was ruled out of Saturday’s road game against the Denver Nuggets. He was battling soreness in his left knee. The game was supposed to pit him against top MVP contender, Nikola Jokic.

Embiid, who is 29, can only afford to miss six more games out of the remaining 38 this regular season. This is if he wants to be eligible for MVP and the All-NBA teams. Including the game on Saturday, he’s already missed 11 games this season.

The new collective bargaining agreement has a rule. It states that players become ineligible for season-ending honors if they play less than 65 regular-season games. Embiid’s absence from this particular game will likely affect his MVP odds.

According to multiple NBA betting sites, Embiid is second only to Jokic in the race for MVP this season. Sportsbooks are also showing good odds for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic.

“Joel Embiid is out vs. Nuggets, source says.” This was a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) on January 27, 2024.

ESPN reported that the Sixers’ medical team decided to shut Embiid down after observing him during a pregame workout. The six-time All-Star had a large wrap on his knee in the locker room before Saturday’s game.

He had missed three games earlier this month due to the same issue. He seemed to have aggravated the knee again in Thursday’s 134-122 loss to the Indiana Pacers. This would have been his first game in Denver since November 8, 2019.

This is the fourth straight season that Embiid has missed playing against Jokic at Ball Arena in Denver. Jokic, who is 28, has missed only one of the Nuggets’ 46 games this season.

NBA fans worldwide were eagerly waiting to see the league’s top MVP candidates face off. Over the last four seasons, either Jokic or Embiid was the runner-up each time the other won the award.

Midway through the first quarter at Ball Arena, fans in Denver started chanting, “Where’s Embiid at?” The Nuggets outscored Philadelphia 31-27 in the opening period.

Embiid, who was out with knee soreness, entertained the Nuggets’ crowd after being met with boos during his emergence from the locker room. This was a tweet from The Athletic (@TheAthletic) on January 28, 2024.

The eight-year veteran was scratched on Saturday after not being listed on the injury report. If a team fails to disclose an injury, the league investigates the circumstances around the player’s absence.

The Miami Heat were fined $25,000 last season after Jimmy Butler was scratched with a back issue and never was listed on the injury report. The fine was for “failing to comply with league policies governing injury reporting.”

Nothing went right for the Sixers on Saturday. Philadelphia’s Tyrese Maxey (ankle) and Tobias Harris (illness) also missed the Denver game. The Sixers were without their three leading scorers. De’Anthony Melton (back) remains out.

Following the Nuggets matchup, the 76ers will continue their five-game road trip Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers. The 76ers then play the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday and the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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