God Willing, the Sixers Might Have Nine Players to Work with in Atlanta

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Did you watch any of the Sixers game on Saturday afternoon?

They rolled out a seven-man group that featured the starting unit of Danny Green, Tyrese Maxey, Dakota Mathias, Dwight Howard, and Isaiah Joe. Tony Bradley and Paul Reed were the only options off the bench.

The reason this game was played is because Mike Scott, coming off a knee injury, was technically “dressed” for the afternoon matinee but did not see the floor for precautionary reasons. The Celtics/Heat game, on Sunday night, ended up being postponed because Miami wasn’t able to suit up eight healthy players for that contest.

So why did the NBA postpone that game, but not the Sixers game?

Joel Embiid thinks the league hates them:

What we think happened here is that Saturday, Ben Simmons and Embiid were late additions to the injury report, with left knee swelling and back tightness, respectively, issues that were not initially disclosed in previous reports. As such, the NBA viewed the Sixers as having met the requirement to play before Simmons and Embiid were ruled out, and Scott was not technically listed as “out,” so he threw on a uniform and the game was played. If Scott didn’t do this, the Sixers would have had to forfeit, so they rolled out the B team instead and got those guys some meaningful minutes and game reps.

In the Miami/Boston game, Avery Bradley tested positive for COVID earlier on Sunday, which meant they needed to do contact tracing for the Heat roster, and that’s why they didn’t meet the threshold.

So the Sixers kind of got screwed, but kind of didn’t. It was less about COVID and more about those three guys and their injury status. It was a weird situation.

Anyway, Simmons didn’t travel with the team to Atlanta for Monday night’s game. The knee that’s bothering him is the same one he injured in the bubble, and had surgery on this summer. Also out is Furkan Korkmaz with an abductor strain, and Terrance Ferguson via personal reasons.

Additionally, you’ve got Seth Curry, Shake Milton, Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Vincent Poirier who are shelved because of the COVID issue. Embiid and Scott are listed as probable, so we may get a nine-man rotation tonight, depending on the health of those two.

Otherwise, it’s going to be the same group we saw Saturday.

The good news is that Atlanta’s roster also looks to be depleted:

We’ll keep an eye on this throughout the day. Sixers are going to be depleted, but if Embiid plays, they might be able to rip off a win here.

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