Joel Embiid (mild left ankle sprain) played under a 24-minute restriction Monday night against the Heat, while the Sixers saw the season debut of offseason acquisition Jerryd Bayless (wrist).
Embiid suffered his injury last Thursday against the Timberwolves but played Saturday against the Suns and put up the best game of his young career, dropping 26 points in 20 minutes. The big man's presence was certainly welcomed Monday as the Sixers went up against Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who entered averaging 17.7 points, 16.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.
For Bayless, the veteran point guard was cleared to play in his first game with the Sixers after dealing (and still dealing) with a wrist injury sustained in training camp.
Bayless went through pregame warmups before being evaluated prior to the game. He participated in a D-League scrimmage last week and finally appears ready to help the Sixers' backcourt.
Bayless played despite not feeling completely healthy. Sixers head coach Brett Brown brought him off the bench.
“He is trying to gut through this and come back, and I respect his toughness for wanting to come back, it’s certainly not comfortable for him right now,” Brown said before the game.
Okafor has minutes restriction lifted
Jahlil Okafor had his minutes restriction lifted against the Heat. He had previously been on the same 24-minute restriction that Embiid is on, but Brown announced that will no longer be the case.
“For Jahlil, this will be more of an increasing of his fitness," Brown said. "Even though his minute restriction has been lifted, he hasn’t been able to go 100 percent in practice and in games, but he has been able to do that recently."
Gerald Henderson (cold-flu symptoms) and Ersan Ilyasova (left foot soreness) played.