It appears Embiid will actually play in Denver, Jokic dodges scare

Jan 26, 2024, 4:26 PM | Updated: Jan 27, 2024, 4:23 pm

It looks like Joel Embiid is actually going to play Nikola Jokic in Denver.

That’s a sentence that hasn’t been true since November of 2019, the last time Embiid played at Ball Arena. Heck, it was called Pepsi Center back then.

Embiid is not on the Philadelphia 76ers injury report entering the Saturday showdown between the last three NBA MVPs. Nikola Jokic is listed as probable for the Nuggets, after getting poked in the eye on Thursday night in New York against the Knicks. He returned to the game and still scored 31 points, even though the Nuggets got blown out.

Jokic doesn’t dodge Embiid, but it sometimes feel like the opposite is the case. Especially if the game isn’t in Philadelphia. They’ve played four times out East since the last time Embiid got on the court in the Mile High City.

Embiid won his Super Bowl against Jokic earlier this year, as the 76ers got the best of the Nuggets by a final score of 126-121. For Jokic, it was a Tuesday night in January in Philly. He still put up 25 points and 19 rebounds.

The last time the two met in Colorado, again all the way back in 2019, Jokic did this.

The game on Saturday is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. MT and will be broadcast nationally on ABC. Right now, it appears Jokic and Embiid are in a battle for another NBA MVP. The latest “MVP ladder” lists them at No. 1 and No. 2 for the ninth straight week. Right now, Embiid has the slight edge.

But that could change tomorrow, especially with Embiid actually getting on the court at altitude. We’ll see if the Nuggets can run the 76ers out of the building. Philadelphia might be without Tyrese Maxey, who’s played great their last two trips to Denver. He’s questionable with an ankle sprain.

Buckle up, it’s finally happening. Jokic vs. Embiid again, with the latter playing outside his comfy confines.


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