76ers star Joel Embiid returns to the lineup tonight as the team is set to take on Karl Anthony-Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After missing the last ten games with a bone bruise, Joel Embiid is finally returning to the Sixers lineup. In that time, the team managed a respectable 7-3 record, but their star big man’s return was clearly needed. The Sixers suffered convincing losses against both the LA Clippers and the Denver Nuggets, two of the NBA’s top contenders.
The Sixers will have to do more than just beat the basement dwellers, and Joel Embiid’s return will be crucial for a deep playoff run.
Both teams will be less than healthy tonight, but there will still be enough star power to make things interesting.
Joel Embiid – Questionable (bone bruise)
George Hill – Out (thumb)
Joel Embiid is currently listed as questionable, but the prevailing thought is that he will be good to go for tonight’s game. The Sixers will need him if they’re going to have any chance at slowing down Timberwolves star Karl Anthony-Towns.
Unfortunately, the team will be without new addition George Hill who still has yet to make his debut in a 76ers uniform. While the Sixers have some depth, it would be nice to be able to integrate Hill into the offense, but the team must act responsibly and bring him along slowly.
George Hill will make his first appearance soon and is likely to have an impact right away, but only if he’s fully ready to go. For that reason, the Sixers are wise to be patient as they acquired him specifically so he could perform in the playoffs.
D’Angelo Russell – Out (knee)
Ricky Rubio – Doubtful (back)
The Minnesota Timberwolves will likely be without both of their point guards in D’Angelo Russell and Ricky Rubio. Russell is a definite out as he continues to recover from the arthroscopic surgery he underwent in February. He hasn’t played for the Wolves since February 8th; in the time, the team is 6-19, nearly identical to their 6-18 with Russell.
In Russell’s absence, the team would love to turn to veteran Ricky Rubio, but he is likely out due to a back injury. Expect Jordan McLaughlin to get the bulk of the minutes and expect Ben Simmons to go at him early and often.
The Sixers are currently half a game behind the Brooklyn Nets for first place in the Eastern Conference. Tonight’s game should be an easy win to help them reclaim their rightful spot atop the East but they can’t coast or else they could fall victim to a trap game.