Fresh off a win against the Washington Wizards, the Sixers will next look to take down Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons. Starting the season with playoff aspirations, injuries have slowed the Pistons to a near standstill. Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson have both missed major time this season and Derrick Rose always feels like he is one mistimed jump away from another knee injury. That is the obvious segue into the…
The Sixers have suffered a big loss as Matisse Thybulle will be out indefinitely with a bone bruise and sprain in his right knee. Thybulle suffered the injury in the win against the Washington Wizards and will be reevaluated in two weeks. Speaking of bad news, Joel Embiid missed today’s shootaround with an illness. Embiid is as of now, questionable for tonight’s game. If Embiid misses tonight’s game, the Sixers will need to look elsewhere for the inspiration to win. With that being said, here is the Sixers’ injury report:
Matisse Thybulle (out, bone bruise/sprain), Joel Embiid (questionable, illness), Raul Neto (probable, illness).
The Pistons have quite a few players injured even tonight including:
Reggie Jackson (out, spinal injury), Christian Wood (out, bone bruise), Khyri Thomas (out, foot surgery), Luke Kennard (questionable, sore knee), Blake Griffin (questionable, flu), and Derrick Rose (questionable, sore knee).
Speaking of Rose
He is in the midst of a sensational season as one of the NBA’s top sixth men. Basketball fans should all be glad to see this as Rose has suffered far more than he deserved in his NBA life. Rose is resurrecting his career all on his own and I wish him the best of luck with that. I hope you do too as Rose is an absolute professional who earned far more than what he’s gotten. Rose will be a player for the Sixers to keep a close eye on as a possible player to trade for. In addition, should the Pistons call it quits the Sixers would be wise to also keep tabs on Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway, Markieff Morris, and Christian Wood.
Keys to the game
Box out the Big Man
Andre Drummond is experiencing a career year. Averaging career highs in points, rebounds, steals, and free-throw percentage, Drummond is a man on a mission. As such, it’s very difficult for anyone to stop him. Fortunately, the Sixers have Joel Embiid, unfortunately, Embiid is questionable tonight with an illness. If Embiid is not good to go, Al Horford will have the tough task of defending Drummond, a match-up I’m not exactly excited about. Whether or not Embiid can go tonight, the Sixers will need to focus attention on Drummond and that starts by keeping him off the boards.
Andre Drummond is the best rebounder in the entire NBA, which is how he’s so effective while being limited offensively. Drummond can’t shoot, from anywhere, so he lives on put backs. If you can double Drummond on box outs (or box him out in general), the Sixers will take away his greatest strength.
The Trey Burke game
It’s time for Brett Brown to let Burke loose. Trey Burke has only played in 12 games this season. In a mere 15.4 Burke has put up some very impressive stats. Check out below for a layout:
Below are his Per 36 numbers:
Burke has been nothing but effective and efficient and yet Brown refuses to give him the time he deserves. Adding an aspect of shot-creation that no one else on the roster has, Burke needs a bigger role going forward. Josh Richardson has essentially been the Sixers backup Point Guard but that job should belong to Trey Burke. Burke has been nothing but a team player and it’s time he was rewarded for it.
This game won’t be pretty due to injuries, especially if Embiid can’t go. With that in mind, I expect the Sixers to come out with the win as Detroit is too banged up to compete.
FINAL SCORE: SIXERS 108 – PISTONS 99
Tip-off tonight is at 7:00 PM EST with coverage beginning at 6:30. You can watch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live at 97.5 FM the Fanatic.
Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports