Update, 4:40 p.m.: Pacers’ starting center Myles Turner is also listed as questionable.
Update, 5:40 p.m.: Tyrese Haliburton is available to play.
Update, 6:50: Both players are available.
The Philadelphia 76ers have had a day’s rest while the Indiana Pacers, set to host Philadelphia tonight, just played on Sunday.
In fact, Pacers’ fans got a near-the-Bulls’-logo-game winner from 23-year-old All-Star Tyrese Haliburton over the weekend:
TYRESE HALIBURTON GAME WINNER pic.twitter.com/CpgypBMqS8— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 5, 2023
What a ridiculous shot in a high-pressure moment.
The Sixers are still riding a wave of vibes themselves after their best player drained a high-pressure game-winner, snapping the Bucks’ 16-game win streak on the road.
EMBIID for three pic.twitter.com/J9nEeIvRzO— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) March 5, 2023
According to Tony East, Haliburton himself says he feels good, but his head coach Ric Carlisle sounds a bit more hesitant to green-light his point guard.
Asked Tyrese Haliburton about his ankle last night: "Ankle feels good, ankle feels good. Yeah, I'm fine."— Tony East (@TEastNBA) March 6, 2023
Rick Carlisle: "I'm pretty sure he'll be listed as questionable for tomorrow. We'll just have to see." https://t.co/tCcV0l09EE
Editor’s note: But according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files, Haliburton will be made available and Turner is a game time decision:
For tonight vs 76ers:— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) March 6, 2023
Tyrese Haliburton is available, Myles Turner is a game-time decision and Aaron Nesmith will miss his second game in a row.
Haliburton (10.2) trails James Harden (10.6) in assists per game by just 0.4. It might be more fun now to watch a young star Philly fans had their eye on during the Ben Simmons trade saga, but it ultimately makes Doc Rivers’ job harder at a time the Sixers need to stack wins in the worst way.
We’re now on #standingswatch the rest of the way as teams like the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers will try to steal the third seed from Joel Embiid and James Harden before the regular season ends.
The chances are not good, but if Philly could somehow, someway steal one of the top two seeds from either Milwaukee or Boston it could dramatically enhance their own title odds. Getting to host two playoff series would be a big lift.
For Philly, both P.J. Tucker (back spasms) and Tobias Harris (calf soreness) are on the injury report as well. So we could see an uptick in minutes whether they suit up or not for guys like Georges Niang and Jalen McDaniels. Both of those two reserves proved instrumental up in Milwaukee.
Jalen McDaniels was a huge part of the Sixers win— Aidan Doc (@AidanDoc_) March 5, 2023
Play him in the right role and it’s a home run trade pic.twitter.com/rLFcm0NXfw
Little things from the Sixers here. Niang screens for Harden and Giannis switches. Why? Not to attack the matchup but to make Giannis be in the action and navigate the screen. Embiid comes now, Brook is in a drop. Jrue showing help, quick pass to Niang for 3. pic.twitter.com/O0XcO69XHP— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) March 5, 2023
The Pacers are currently in 11th place in the East, just 1.5 games behind the Washington Wizards for the final Play-In spot.
After a statement win against the Bucks, the Sixers will try to keep rolling tonight against the 29-36 Pacers: https://t.co/SF3vN5QKY5 pic.twitter.com/CQoSwWpzit— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) March 6, 2023
Harden has three scoring titles on his resume, and he led the NBA in assists back in 2017. He’s on pace to win the dime-crown again, so a head-to-head matchup vs. second place, assuming Haliburton gets a full workload is another storyline to watch. But it will be The Beard’s fifth game in seven nights, playing up near 40 minutes per outing. We’ll keep an eye on his minutes here.
Suffering from back spasms, #Sixers’ P.J. Tucker will allow ‘feel’ to determine his status vs. #Pacers https://t.co/6eIiQ75JCf via @phillyinquirer— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) March 6, 2023
(Wouldn’t it be something if Harden didn’t make the All-Star team but led the NBA in assists, and made an All-NBA squad?)
If Turner does happen to sit out, the Sixers will get a big lift, and (knock wood) potentially even the chance to buy a guy like Harden some in-game rest.