League expected to open official investigation to Joel Embiid's Nuggets absence

The NBA will reportedly look into Joel Embiid's late scratch from Saturday's matchup against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

Jan 27, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; A Denver Nuggets fan dressed as the Joker holds up a sign
Jan 27, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; A Denver Nuggets fan dressed as the Joker holds up a sign / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In their first meeting of the season, on Jan. 16, the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Denver Nuggets 126-121 at home. Embiid finished with 41 points, 7 rebounds, and 10 assists in that game. Jokic had 25 points to go along with his 19 rebounds. As one can imagine, the matchup between Jokic and Embiid created a lot of excitement, and fans eagerly anticipated their next encounter. The good news is that they'd only have to wait 10 days.

On Jan. 27, the Denver Nuggets were all set to host the Philadelphia 76ers. However, all of the sudden, 15 minutes before tip-off, Embiid's status changed from active to unavailable. According to Shams Charania, this is something that the NBA will be investigating.

Per @RunItBackFDTV on Twitter:

Joel Embiid's 'unexpected absence' raises eyebrows across the league

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone explained to ESPN how Embiid's unexpected absence undermined his game plan and preparation. “I'm sure he is hurt,” Malone said. “But it's just really tough on the (opponent) preparing for them and then all of a sudden, last minute, he's out." Malone added, "We've had situations this year where we've talked to the league and they told us if a player goes from being active to out, there's going to be an investigation.”

It has been almost half a decade since Joel Embiid played basketball in Denver. The last time Embiid played at Ball Arena was November 8, 2019. If you're curious how long ago that was - Will Barton, Paul Milsap, and Gary Harris were all still with the Nuggets at the time. So... yeah....

This season, Embiid averages 36 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists. It's officially been a week since he scored 70 points on the San Antonio Spurs. Embiid has already missed 11 games this season. This means the reigning MVP can only miss six more games if he wants a chance to defend his title. Don't worry though Sixers fans (and Joel Embiid) — the rest of Philly's schedule doesn't include any trips to Denver. 

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