Apparently opting not to go all out for the three seed, Philadelphia has decided to rest stars Joel Embiid and James Harden for tonight’s regular season finale against the lowly Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center.
Joel Embiid (right knee soreness) and James Harden (left hamstring injury recovery) are out tonight.— Paul Hudrick (@PaulHudrick) April 10, 2022
The three seed is still theoretically attainable, should the Boston Celtics lose tonight to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies, however, are resting many key players, including MVP candidate Ja Morant. However if Boston wins tonight and the Milwaukee Bucks lose the game they’re currently losing right now, Boston will vault to the second seed in the standings, and face the star-studded Brooklyn Nets. So Celtics/Grizzlies could be a tank-off, depending on the matchups preferred in beantown.
Anyway, Doc Rivers and the Sixers seem to content to head into the playoffs healthy and rest up for their first round series, come what may. Should they remain in fourth, the Sixers will face off against the Toronto Raptors and be short usual starting small forward Matisse Thybulle, who is barred from playing in Canada due to his vaccination status.
In my opinion, this is the right play. If you need to put a bunch of thought into game 82 because you’re worried about your first round matchup, you’re probably not that much of a contender, after all. Rest the big dogs, stay healthy, beat who’s on your schedule when the real games begin.
Who knows — maybe Shake Milton and BBall Paul will beat the Pistons anyway and the Celtics will duck a win against the Tyus Jones-led Grizzlies. Stranger things have happened.