Obviously, the vast majority of Joel being shut down is based on his long-term health, but it isn't just black & white. If Embiid has very limited mobility/conditioning, good luck with him guarding anyone on the perimeter. Boston will go 5 wide and render him useless. That's pretty much the 76ers punting on the season.If his knee risks long term injury they’ll shut him down but they’re not shutting him down for any reason other than that. The #1 in the conference is out there’s no way they’re punting on these playoffs because they don’t like their matchup against Boston thats crazy to suggest
If he is gimpy/limited and needs more time, they would be better off going small with PJ or Reed at the 5. Rest Embiid further in the hopes they can pull a Panthers-style upset with Joel returning for the next round.
Either way, the 76ers options aren't great.