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Embiid and Oubre miss shootaround before Sixers-Knicks Game 5

The Sixers officially listed Embiid as questionable and Oubre as probable.

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NEW YORK — The Sixers' superstar big man missed the team's shootaround Tuesday morning at Madison Square Garden.

Joel Embiid was absent with a migraine. Kelly Oubre Jr. was also not among the Sixers gearing up for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series vs. the Knicks. The Sixers listed him as probable because of an illness.

Julius Randle (right shoulder surgery) and Robert Covington (left knee bone bruise) have been constants on the injury report; both are sidelined with long-term injuries. Knicks forward Bojan Bogdanovic will miss Game 5 as well with a left foot contusion. New York listed Mitchell Robinson (sprained left ankle) as questionable and both Jalen Brunson (right knee contusion) and Jericho Sims (right shoulder inflammation) as probable. 

On the Sixers’ side, Embiid’s presence has been especially vital in the series. He scored 50 points in their Game 3 victory, leading the team to its lone win thus far. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Sixers’ net rating with Embiid on the floor this series has been plus-8.4. Without him, it’s been minus-43.8. Head coach Nick Nurse played Embiid every minute of the second half in the Sixers’ Game 4 loss Sunday.

Ahead of each game, the Sixers have listed Embiid as questionable because of “left knee injury recovery.” He missed over two months with a left meniscus injury and had a serious-looking injury scare in Game 1.

Embiid has also been playing through Bell’s palsy, which has caused noticeable weakness of the muscles on the left side of his face. He said he initially recognized symptoms when he experienced “bad migraines” shortly before the Sixers’ play-in tournament win over the Heat.

Nicolas Batum compared Tuesday's stakes to that play-in game situation. Everyone knows what another defeat would mean.

“We can’t lose,” Batum said. “It’s like when we played Miami — kind of a Game 7 for us now. We know what we have to do to win on this team, we just have to do it. We haven’t done it for three games. Every game could’ve gone either way. It’s been that close every game.

“It’s going to be crazy tonight. They want to close it out tonight on their home floor, so it’s going to be a crazy fight and the crowd’s going to be into it. … We need to just stick together, be together, put up a big fight, and see what happens.”

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