Tonight, the Sixers will look to start the home stretch of the season off with a win against the Miami Heat in Philly. The 37-21 Sixers are jockeying for position atop the Eastern Conference standings, while the 26-30 Heat (currently 9th) are looking to overtake the Detroit Pistons for the East’s final playoff spot.
The Sixers will be tasked with doing so without their franchise player, as Joel Embiid will miss approximately one week as the team manages some benign knee soreness he’s been having.
As long as soreness and rest is all we’re actually dealing with here (and that is far from a foregone conclusion, given this front office’s checkered past), then a week off should do the big man some good, and have him fresh for the playoff run.
Liberty Ballers has obtained exclusive footage of Heat center Hassan Whiteside upon hearing the news of Embiid’s absence:
With Joel on the shelf, the center minutes figure to be split fairly evenly between Boban Marjanovic and Jonah Bolden, with odds on Bobi getting the start. This will be an important opportunity for Bolden to once again take advantage of some extended playing time- the rookie Aussie has the skill profile that should really come in handy this spring vs. the East’s better teams.
Also enclosed in the press release is the news that Sixers’ swingman Furkan Korkmaz has taken part in the time-honored Sixers tradition of tearing his meniscus. It seems as though he will cede his minutes off the bench to some combination of Jonathon Simmons and James Ennis, going forward.
For the Heat, who are 4-6 in their last 10, starting point guard Goran Dragic is reportedly ready to return to action after missing approximately two months due to knee surgery:
It is important for the Sixers other four starters to hold down the fort while Embiid sits, and against a substandard Heat team at home, they’re expected to do just that.
Who: Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Watch: NBCSports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic