Horford has left knee soreness and left hamstring tightness https://t.co/AMh1ZirKZ2— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 13, 2019
The Sixers will again be without Al Horford this evening when the team hosts the New Orleans Pelicans. Horford missed last night’s win over the Boston Celtics with the same ailments. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer broke the news this afternoon that Horford will miss the second of this back-to-back set with left knee soreness and left hamstring tightness.
Joel Embiid, who sometimes sits one of the games in back-to-backs is active this evening. He was an absolute monster in Boston and carried the Sixers to victory, taking advantage of his size and footwork down low, while also drilling some dagger triples and free throws. Embiid’s game served as a demonstrative response to the recent criticism he received from Sixers’ legend Charles Barkley and Lakers’ great Shaquille O’Neal on Inside the NBA on TNT. The two hall-of-famers discussed how Embiid was underachieving given the talents he possesses.
Embiid agreed with them and thanked them for the tough love, letting his game in Boston do the real talking:
Joel Embiid had his best game of the season yesterday.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) December 13, 2019
38 points (including 16 in the 4th quarter), 13 rebounds, 6 assists (2 turnovers), 1 block.
He scored effectively all over the floor, and his passing/handling of double teams was great. Some highlights: pic.twitter.com/7ZuBCghGpX
The Sixers valued Horford this off season in large part because he could preserve Embiid during the regular season grind. It’s less than ideal that Horford is unable to spell “the crown jewel of The Process” this evening, since he played so much and fought so hard last night.
As for Horford, we have to hope his knee issue is manageable. He dealt with left knee soreness attributed to patellofemoral pain syndrome for the majority of last season. Those types of overuse injuries can linger so hopefully they’re able to keep winning and keep both of their star big men on restricted minutes programs so everyone is peaking come the playoffs.
Tonight should be winnable even without Big Al though. The Pelicans, still without phenom Zion Williamson, are just 6-19. I don’t anticipate JJ Redick will be booed like Jimmy Butler was. He’s not as much of a divisive player or personality as Butler and his role in Philadelphia was largely appreciated, as the first major free agent signing when the team looked to transition from losing to winning.
Finally, Jonah Bolden, Zhaire Smith and Marial Shayok are out on G League assignment.