Polarizing star will be absent from tonight's Bulls vs. 76ers game

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers
Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Although the Philadelphia 76ers have been perennial championship contenders and the Chicago Bulls have gotten accustomed to watching the playoffs from home over the last few years, it's interesting to see how these two teams have developed something of a small rivalry. With the next two games on Chicago's schedule against Philadelphia, that only gives fans all the more reason to tune in to see if the Bulls can continue their winning ways.

Typically, matchups against the 76ers are not something I'd really look forward to. As Joel Embiid himself would tell you, he's historically had the Bulls' number throughout his career. After winning his 12th consecutive game against the Bulls in 2022, Embiid took to Instagram to refer to himself as Aaron Rodgers, a reference to both athlete's phenomenal head-to-head records against Chicago.

Of course, the 76ers would go on to lose three of their next four meetings with the Bulls after Embiid's post. These next two games will be huge for the Bulls moving forward, as Chicago currently holds the NBA's fourth-easiest remaining strength of schedule and even splitting the series against a top team like Philly would help prop them up to finish the season out strong.

Polarizing superstar Joel Embiid will be absent from tonight's game between the Bulls and 76ers .

Unfortunately, Embiid won't be available for tonight's contest as he recuperates from an ankle injury. After also missing Thursday's game against the Rockets, it appears this injury is impacting Embiid's ability on the court, rather than just a precautionary rest. Joel is on the hunt for his second consecutive MVP award, and I doubt he'd want to miss this matchup if he could help it.

Of course, the Bulls aren't unscathed here either. Without Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, Torrey Craig, and Lonzo Ball, this will be far from a free win for Chicago. We could be in for a close one here, and it might just come down to which team has a player step up in a big way to replace one of these injured players.

For the Bulls, the most obvious candidate to fill that role would be Andre Drummond. Averaging 15.5 points and 20.5 rebounds in his first two games as a starter, look for Drummond to continue capitalizing on this opportunity and potentially exact revenge against his former team. Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu are also players to keep an eye out for tonight, as everyone looks to make a name for themselves in the absence of several important rotation pieces.