While the Philadelphia 76ers prepare to take on the Phoenix Suns Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 pm ET, Sixers fans are already expecting a very thin rotation. As Tom West detailed earlier today, Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson are listed as out for the matchup with the Suns, as is Ben Simmons, who recently received what is likely to be season-ending surgery. From Tom’s post:
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.
As noted in Tom’s post, Al Horford and Tobias Harris were listed as questionable. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Horford and Harris are now officailly out for the game against the Suns.
Harris and Horford are both out along with Joel Embiid and Josh Harris. https://t.co/LQ4zm0Y5A2— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) August 11, 2020
With five players out, four of them starters and one a part-time starter, the Sixers rotation could get very interesting. Rotowire is currently listing the Sixers starting lineup as Shake Milton, Alec Burks, Furkan Korkmaz, Glenn Robinson III, and Norvel Pelle, which feels like peak Process-era Sixers vibes. This... could be... fun?