Sixers star center Joel Embiid will miss his second consecutive game against the Wizards on Wednesday with a non-COVID illness, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. According to head coach Doc Rivers, Embiid has the flu.
As Pompey notes, Embiid also missed Friday’s game vs. Toronto with right knee soreness, but returned during Saturday’s victory over the Bulls. In six games this season (34.5 MPG), the five-time All-Star is averaging 27.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.3 APG and 1.2 BPG on .532/.300/.788 shooting.
In addition to Embiid, Sixers guard De’Anthony Melton will also miss Wednesday’s game with back stiffness, and Matisse Thybulle will start in his place, tweets Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Melton, who was acquired in a trade with Memphis this offseason, had previously started the two games that Embiid was sidelined, with the Sixers opting to go small and sliding P.J. Tucker up to center. Melton performed well in both victories, and is averaging 9.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.3 APG and 2.0 SPG on .517/.407/1.000 shooting through eight games (22.5 MPG) in 2022/23.
The Sixers started the season 0-3, but have won four of their past five games to even their record at 4-4, while the Wizards have dropped three straight after guard Delon Wright suffered a strained hamstring and currently sit with a 3-4 record. Wednesday’s game has an unusually early tip off, beginning at 6:00pm ET.