Ben Simmons did not participate in shootaround...he has gastroenteritis and is currently getting fluids at the hotel. Questionable for tonight in Atlanta— Molly Sullivan (@MollySullivanTV) April 10, 2018
Is it me, or do Sixers players come down with a case of gastroenteritis more frequently than the rest of the humans of planet Earth?
I don’t know how to take this. If a player really has a stomach flu, playing through it cannot be comfortable or easy. If a team just wants to get a player some rest, gastroenteritis seems like a solid label to throw out there without drawing negative attention. If the team was really just trying to rest Simmons though, I think they would have ditched the “questionable” qualifier and just labeled him “out.” On top of that, the Sixers haven’t locked in the 3rd seed; maybe they shouldn’t really be resting players for the sake of giving rest? Limited minutes? Sure.
In any event the Hawks are lousy, and want to be lousy down the stretch. They are tied with the Dallas Mavericks and the Orlando Magic as far as records are concerned, and if they’re smart they’ll employ a rotation that guarantees them a loss tonight. Better to pick 3rd than 5th — obviously. With that being said, whether Ben plays or not, the Sixers can win this game. It won’t be a cakewalk without their lead initiator, but the Sixers are still more talented than the Hawks sans Embiid & Simmons.
If Ben Simmons does indeed sit the night out, it could mean more Markelle. A lot more Markelle.
UPDATE: According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, when Brett Brown was asked who would start at PG if Simmons can’t go, Brown responded that he was “unsure” and then followed it up with “Probably ‘Kelle.”