**UPDATE — Zion Williamson will not be playing tonight after fracturing the ring finger on his left hand. He is out indefinitely per Sportscenter.”
Breaking: Zion Williamson is out indefinitely with a fractured left ring finger, the team announced on Friday. pic.twitter.com/wMME8sdypV— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 7, 2021
The Philadelphia 76ers’ regular season is almost complete, and a very important prophecy could be fulfilled.
With six games remaining, the Sixers are two and a half games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets and three in front of the Bucks for the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks twice, the Sixers have won six straight games. Meanwhile, the Nets have lost four straight after their loss to the Dallas Mavericks last night.
Tonight, the Sixers welcome Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans to the Wells Fargo Center. Four of these last six games are at home, and two are against playoff teams – the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat.
On Wednesday night, the Sixers were able to get out to a huge lead and hold it against the Houston Rockets. As a result of that, the starting lineup was treated once again to an “early night”. Only Tobias Harris played more than 25 minutes. (He played 26.) Joel Embiid played 25, and Ben Simmons played 24.
As Steve Lipman wrote on Monday, balancing health and winning was going to be paramount going into the final weeks of the regular season, and the Sixers have caught a few breaks in helping that cause. They played the Chicago Bulls without Zach Lavine AND Nikola Vucevic. They played the Atlanta Hawks once without Trae Young. (They played the other game with Young and still won by 22.)
This has led to a lot of light work games from Embiid – who has only had to play 25-plus minutes twice in this six-game win streak (33 against Chicago and 35 in the overtime win over San Antonio).
The Pelicans are trying to get into the play-in tournament and are two and a half games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the 10th seed. They have a chance to get in since the Spurs have lost five straight. They recently split two games with the Golden State Warriors, losing by 15 on Monday, but getting the win on Tuesday thanks to Lonzo Ball’s season-high 33 points.
Last month in New Orleans, the Pelicans were able to secure a seven-point win against the Sixers, thanks in large part to Williamson’s 37 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. It was the first game that Williamson had ever played against Joel Embiid and the Sixers.
The Pelicans will be without Brandon Ingram tonight, however (another break for the Sixers in this winning streak). Ingram was diagnosed with a left ankle sprain. They could be without the services of Steven Adams as well. Adams is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game and will be a game-time decision.
The Sixers will be going for lucky number seven in a row against a team that could have been a difficult game to win. Someone up there must like us Sixers fans, though, because we’ve been catching a lot of breaks lately, and the Sixers have been capitalizing.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
When: 7:00 pm ET, May 7
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic