While the Philadelphia 76ers get a huge boost with Joel Embiid returning to the lineup tonight, they were already set to miss starter De’Anthony Melton due to lumbar spine soreness. One of the guys who could have soaked up some of Melton’s minutes was reserve forward Robert Covington, but RoCo sprung up today as out due to left knee effusion.
Robert Covington (knee) listed out Tuesday.— Underdog NBA (@Underdog__NBA) January 2, 2024
Despite vocal proponents from among the Sixers fan base, Covington has not established a major role in Nick Nurse’s rotation thus far, playing 16.1 minutes per game across 26 appearances with the Sixers since being traded from Los Angeles. He played just five minutes in Philadelphia’s loss to Chicago on Saturday, although he scored seven points and recorded three steals in 16 minutes against the Rockets the night before. Hopefully, some rest will benefit Covington and this is not an issue that will linger for the veteran.
Further down the bench, Furkan Korkmaz is listed as out tonight due to illness.
Furkan Korkmaz (illness) listed out Tuesday— RotoGrindersNBA (@RotoGrindersNBA) January 2, 2024
Korkmaz hasn’t played double-digit minutes since December 1 against Boston, but there have been the odd games here and there this season where Nurse has given him first quarter run. Tonight could have been one of those nights with a couple perimeter options ahead of him sidelined, but there will be no popping the Kork two nights after New Year’s Eve.
While unlikely to be needed, all three two-way contract players have been made available tonight with three guys out. Sign me up for some Terq Smith and Kenneth Lofton Jr. garbage time minutes after Embiid has one of his classic ‘40 points in three quarters’ games.