When the Philadelphia 76ers square off against the Chicago Bulls tonight, Joel Embiid will not be in uniform. Considering that Monday's game is the front end of a back-to-back, and given that Embiid logged nearly 49 minutes on Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, his absence isn't that much of a surprise.
Unfortunately, Embiid is just one of five Sixers who won't be suiting up tonight. Markelle Fultz (shoulder) and Justin Anderson (shin splints) have been on the shelf for a minute, but new injuries to Trevor Booker (sprained left ankle) and Furkan Korkmaz (Lisfranc) leave an already thin 76ers' bench leaner than usual.
And, for the record, these are not your father's Bulls. After starting the season 3-20, Chicago has ripped off five straight wins. The stretch has included victories over Boston, Utah and Milwaukee, and the Bulls have topped the century mark in points during each game of the winning streak.
Starters vs. starters, the edge goes to the 76ers: Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, et al. are simply better than Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday and their compatriots. Conversely, the Bulls' bench has been extraordinary of late. David Nwaba is a high energy guard who fills the stat sheet, and Bobby Portis (27 points, 12 rebounds vs. Milwaukee on Friday) adds some punch to Chicago's second unit.
Sans Embiid and Booker, this might be the evening we get treated to some extended minutes from James Michael McAdoo, given Chicago's length. Regardless, this is a weird spot for a short-handed Sixers' team: 23 hours after they tip off against the Bulls, they're right back at it with a home game against the Sacramento Kings.
Game Time: 8:00 pm ET
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic