Joel Embiid (left ankle) and Josh Richardson (rest) are both listed as out against Phoenix, while Al Horford (left knee soreness) and Tobias Harris (right ankle soreness) are listed as questionable.
With the Sixers potentially missing most of their top players, it certainly looks like the Suns, who are surging behind Devin Booker’s performance (he’s averaging 30.3 points and 6 assists per game with 50.4 percent shooting in the bubble so far) and the strong play of their supporting cast, can move one win closer to an unlikely playoff appearance.
Matisse Thybulle said at the Sixers’ practice on Monday that he appreciates the opportunities he gets to take on tough defensive assignments. With no Simmons or Richardson next to him against the Suns, he’ll have a big challenge ahead against Booker.
As for Embiid’s injury, there is reason to feel positive. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that there’s optimism that the injury isn’t serious and that he’ll be back soon. At the Sixers’ last practice, Brett Brown said that he expects Embiid will play in another seeding game, even though he can’t make any guarantees, of course.
A Ben Simmons surgery update
The Sixers have announced that Ben Simmons underwent successful surgery on Monday morning to remove a loose body in his left knee, following the left patella subluxation he suffered against the Wizards on August 5. He travelled back to Philadelphia for the operation, which was performed by Dr. Chris Dodson from the Rothman Orthopedic Institute. Simmons will now begin rehabbing immediately in Philadelphia, and will be evaluated in two weeks.
As Wojnarowski added, Simmons is expected to miss the rest of the season. Confirmation of this after Simmons’ surgery is hardly surprising, given how unlikely a return already was even if the Sixers made a run deep into the late stages of the playoffs.