There was one looming question heading into the Sixers' home game against the Wizards on Wednesday night: Why wasn't Joel Embiid playing?

Embiid is not playing in back-to-back games. The team opted to sit him on the front end and make him available on Thursday against the Timberwolves in Minnesota. 

Head coach Brett Brown pointed to within the organization as the source of the decision.

"I am a recipient of news from our medical staff," Brown said before the game. "I follow the instruction. It's really that simple. It's completely designed to what is best for Joel Embiid."

The news of Embiid's availability on Wednesday prompted a large response from Sixers fans who wanted to see the long-awaited rookie play at the Wells Fargo Center. Brown was asked about the impact of Thursday's game being nationally televised on TNT. 

"We expect that question," Brown said. "It's just the rhythm that the medical staff has put him on. And I think you look back, back-to-back-type games and those types of things with the time in between, they felt like it wasn't going to be a game that if we had a choice, that this game was going to be it. I follow the marching orders of smarter people than myself."

There is no clear-cut schedule of when Embiid will and won't play. Last week, he sat out of a single-game road trip against the Pacers. He last played 23 minutes on Monday against the Rockets in Houston. Embiid is limited to 24 minutes, a number that will be evaluated around Christmas. 


"It's a very fluid thing," Brown said. "It's not pre-ordained, it's not all scripted out for the whole month, it doesn't work like that. ... This is going to be the rhythm of Joel Embiid for a while, probably the whole year, where we just zoom in and if you want to quantify it on a week-to-week assessment, fine, but it's short term, whatever the number is. It'll be exclusively judgmental over a short window. There isn't anything that's mapped out over a long period of time." 

Embiid leads the Sixers with 18.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.