The Philadelphia 76ers have lost three games in a row, and four of their last five. And things won’t get much easier on Friday when De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray and the rest of the Sacramento Kings come to South Broad. Ahead of the tip off, the Sixers have ruled Kelly Oubre Jr. out with soreness on his right big toe. Bummer.
Oubre Jr. should now join Joel Embiid (left knee swelling) and Robert Covington (knee swelling) on the bench in some fresh drip, we’d expect.
This will leave a shorthanded Sixers group to try to contain the (23-14) West’s No. 5 seeded team in the Kings. Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Tobias Harris, Nico Batum and Paul Reed will have to do the bulk of the heavy lifting in this home tilt that will air on NBA TV and NBCS-Philadelphia.
In 25 games played under head coach Nick Nurse, Oubre Jr. is averaging a surprisingly robust 13.4 points, 4 boards, and 1.6 steals per battle in his 27.2 mpg.
The former Hornets swingman played 32 minutes in the Sixers’ most recent overtime defeat in Atlanta to Trae Yonug’s Hawks. Oubre shot just 3-of-11 from the floor so one might wonder if he was dealing with the issue during that battle.
Without both reserve small forwards Covington and Oubre Jr. the Sixers will likely ask a bit more than usual from a few Melton, Marcus Morris Sr. and perhaps even Paul Reed who is athletic enough to stay with many 4’s.