The Sixers are preparing for their final game before the playoffs begin. The team will go up against the Houston Rockets.
It’s yet to be seen if Joel Embiid and James Harden will play but Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook are confirmed to be out.
Even though this game won’t affect the Sixers’ playoff seeding, there are still some things to watch in this game.
What to Watch
How Many Minutes do the Starters Get?
We’re still yet to find out who of the starters will take the court tomorrow. Joel Embiid has dealt with a couple of different injuries during the seeding games, most recently a wrist injury. It would not be surprising for Brett Brown to give the big man the night off as a precaution before the playoffs.
After all, the Sixers are already locked into a series against the Boston Celtics, what do the Sixers have to win from play the starters heavy minutes (or Joel Embiid at all)?
Even Al Horford and Tobias Harris will likely take some time to rest if not the whole game. Shake Milton and Josh Richardson should see close to their regular minutes though to find/keep their offensive touch.
There’s a fine line though between trying to help your players find their offensive touch and risking injury in a meaningless game.
Can Shake Turn it Around?
Speaking of Master Shake, the young Point Guard had another tough outing against Toronto on Wednesday. Head Coach Brett Brown needs to do a better job of defining his role and putting him in a position to succeed.
The sharpshooting guard has struggled from deep during the seeding games shooting a disappointing 30% from three. The Sixers will need him to contribute if they’re to have a chance against the Celtics.
This game could be a perfect opportunity for Milton to build some confidence and hopefully make it last.
Confidence (or lack thereof) has been key for the young guard as he takes over the starting role. Brett Brown has some responsibility yes but Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris need to do their part to supply Shake with confidence.
Are Burks and GR3 Healthy?
The Sixers are dealing with some health issues (nothing new) so their bench will be even more important than ever. The issue is, two of their biggest bench pieces have dealt with injuries as well.
Both Alec Burks (foot) and Glenn Robinson III (hip) have missed time due to injury. These two players specifically are set to play a huge role in the postseason so a quality run against Houston would be an encouraging sign.
Ever since the two were acquired from the Golden State Warriors, the plan has been for them to be playoff contributors.
Burks in particular will play a big role for the Sixers. With Ben Simmons out, Burks will have to carry some of the offensive load.
The finale takes place tonight with a 9:00 PM EST tip-off. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN and you can also watch on NBC Sports Philadelphia. If you prefer, the game, as always, is on 97.5 FM the Fanatic.
Take a close look at Milton and the bench contributors (Burks, GR3, Scott) as this game will be one last attempt to prepare them for the road ahead.