Embiid missed 14 of the Sixers' 24 games following the All-Star break and was limited to just 24 minutes in Philadelphia's Game 1 loss to Brooklyn because of tendinitis in his left knee.
"Joel's minute restriction was challenging," Sixers coach Brett Brown said during his pregame remarks Monday. "I thought Joel's lack of playing and his inevitable lack of conditioning, which is connected, didn't let us try to go to him as much as I wished in just basic paint touches."
Embiid worked out on the court approximately 75 minutes before tip-off without a brace on his knee.
Brown acknowledged the bind the Sixers find themselves in as they try to allow Embiid time to get healthy while trying to build momentum in the playoffs.
"It isn't ideal, but that's where we're at," Brown said. "And I think that my belief, and shared with Joel and our management and owners and so on. is we're in a phase, we're in a stage where we're buying time. Can we get a win and buy a few more days? Can we get another win and buy, like, a few more days? We might lose, but you're alive -- buy three more days. And so, this is just the path that we're on with Joel. There is zero doubt he is our crown jewel, and just with the phase and stage and how it's played out, to my best ability, this is how I see the world nowadays. And that is Joel's path, in my opinion."
Brooklyn announced that Jared Dudley, who gave the Nets a lift with 4 points, 4 assists and a steal while playing 28 minutes -- many at small ball center in Game 1 -- would miss Game 2 because of tightness in his right calf.