Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is dealing with a torn meniscus injury, which means the NBA needed to name replacements to appear in two of the All-Star weekend events.
Embiid was originally scheduled to compete in Friday night's Rising Stars Challenge game between first- and second-year players, and the Skills Challenge which takes place on Saturday night. Here are the two guys the NBA chose to appear in his place.
Alex Abrines, Oklahoma City Thunder
Alex Abrines will replace Embiid on the World Team in the Rising Stars Challenge. The rookie guard from Spain is averaging 5.4 points in 13.9 minutes per game, and he ranks fourth among first-year players in three-point field goals made (53) and three-point field goal percentage (37.3).
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic will replace Embiid in the Skills Challenge. In his second NBA season, he's averaging 16.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
The 21-year-old Serbian has recorded two triple-doubles in February, including a 17-point, 21-rebound, 12-assist performance in Denver’s 132-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 13. He also scored a career-high 40 points in a 131-123 win over the Knicks on Feb. 10.
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