The Philadelphia 76ers will roll without their starting center Joel Embiid on Sunday night in the second road matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey, Embiid is dealing with back tightness.
It's necessary to note that the 76ers did not have Embiid listed on the injury report earlier on Sunday, so he could've suffered a setback during routine warmups hours before the game against the Cavaliers.
Considering he was listed as inactive close to tip-off, Embiid's setback likely isn't serious. As the Sixers just played the New York Knicks on Saturday night, the team might've considered sitting Embiid out for the first back to back set of games for the season. While it seemed they didn't intend to, his back tightness made it an obvious choice to leave the big man on the bench for the time being.
So, with Embiid out of the lineup, veteran center Dwight Howard will get the start, as expected. The 35-year-old center became a regular reserve last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. While he will remain Embiid's backup with the Sixers, Philly's front office expected to have Howard start a few games this year as Embiid's bound to miss time throughout the season every year.
With Embiid out and Howard starting, the 76ers will likely roll with Tony Bradley as the backup. The veteran center battled with Vincent Poirier during the preseason, but it was clear the former Utah Jazz backup was in favor of winning Howard's backup minutes if the veteran center has to assume a starter's role on select nights.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_