The Philadelphia 76ers could use a strong bounce-back performance after their 119-113 loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday. It was a rough night for most involved outside of Tobias Harris’s season-high 33 points. Now, the Sixers will need to get back on track against the 5-16 Cleveland Cavaliers without two members of their starting lineup.
Embiid will be out against the Cavs due to a left hip contusion. As Serena Winters mentioned, he felt discomfort after the Wizards game. If Embiid felt hindered at all, maybe that impacted his effort somewhat, but it still doesn’t excuse his decision-making. He finished the game with impressive totals of 26 points and 21 rebounds, but racked up eight turnovers as a result of frequent sloppy decisions, whether he had tunnel vision inside and rushed passes, or carelessly executed spin moves into incoming double teams.
Nevertheless, Embiid’s talent speaks for itself when he’s locked in and anywhere near 100 percent effort, and he’d have been valuable as always against the Cavs in keeping their bigs in check. Kevin Love has been listed as day-to-day and was out on Friday with illness, but Tristan Thompson is always a handful on the boards and will likely be a testing physical matchup for Al Horford.
The Sixers are taking their time bringing Richardson back, and they should be. He’s listed as out against the Cavs due to continued right hamstring tightness.
Hamstring injuries can persist if they aren’t dealt with carefully, and Richardson has now missed the last four games.
Furkan Korkmaz has started each game in Richardson’s place, averaging 9 points while shooting 38.9 percent from three (he’s at 36.7 percent for the season on 4.7 attempts per game).
Horford will slide over to center in Embiid’s place, but with Richardson out as well, the additional perimeter starter will be the interesting decision to watch from Brett Brown. When Horford was out in the Sixers’ latest game against the Knicks and the Sixers returned to one big in their starting lineup, Matisse Thybulle got the start. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this again against the Cavs this weekend, especially with the improved play Thybulle has been displaying at both ends of the floor recently.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.