Recently, January has been a magic month for the Philadelphia 76ers. Even the 2015-2016 Sixers had four wins in the month of January – that’s 40% of their wins! We’re five days into January 2018 and the Sixers haven’t lost the one game that they’ve played. They look to continue the winning tradition against the Detroit Pistons when Battle of the Big Men III (#BBM3) takes place tonight. With a win, the Sixers would extend their winning streak to four and increase both their home and total winning percentages to .500 for the season.
However, whether we see Battle of the Big Men III is largely up in the air as Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond have questionable statuses. Although Embiid was not listed on the medical update released before the game, based on Wednesday’s confusion, nothing surprises me anymore. Before the game against the Spurs, Embiid’s status, due to a swollen and sprained right hand, progressed like this: doubtful, very doubtful, out, in, until he ultimately finished with 21-11-4 and four blocks. When asked if he was surprised that he was cleared to play Embiid said, “Well, it was my decision.” Embiid gets his energy from playing in front of the home crowd, and maybe a little from trash-talking Drummond, so I do think we’ll see him tonight.
Drummond, on the other hand, is still listed as questionable and is a game-time decision, per Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy. He did not play in Wednesday’s game against the Heat due to a right rib contusion and does not seem to have the same power over his playing status as Embiid. If Drummond doesn’t play, expect Boban Marjanovic to start in his place. As much as I want Embiid to go up against the best competitors (and continue to dominate them), I am not going to complain about more of this.
Game Time: 7:00 pm
TV: NBCSports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic