Coming off of an exciting win over the Boston Celtics, Joel Embiid and the Sixers head down to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat. Both teams are coming off Friday night wins as the Heat defeated Atlanta Hawks after a thrilling comeback. The Heat are looking to make it five in a row as they continue to play catch up to the Chicago Bulls, who currently sit atop the East.
Neither team is at full strength, but this still remains a battle of two of the top teams in the East. How bad are the injuries, though? Let’s take a look at the injury report.
- Matisse Thybulle – Out (Shoulder)
- Danny Green – Out (Hip)
- Shake Milton – Out (Back)
- Ben Simmons – Out (Personal)
- Bam Adebayo – Out (Thumb)
- Victor Oladipo – Out (Quadriceps)
- Markeif Morris – Out (Non-Injury)
- KZ Okpala – Out (Wrist)
- Markus Garrett – Out (COVID)
- Kyle Guy (Ineligible)
- Chris Silva (Ineligible)
Both teams will be without a number of contributors tonight. Most notable for the Sixers is Matisse Thybulle, who suffered a shoulder injury after taking a scary fall last night against the Celtics. There’s no timetable for Thybulle’s return yet, but any time missed is a big issue for the Sixers, who are now without their four best perimeter defenders in Tybulle, Green, Milton, and of course, Ben Simmons.
Expect plenty of Fukan Korkmaz and Isaiah Joe tonight as the team looks for any way to slow down Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro. There will even likely be a healthy dose of Charlie Brown Jr. tonight as the Sixers will need as many defenders as they can muster.
On the Miami front, the team is suffering from their own bout with the injury bug as they will be without both Bam Adebayo and Victor Oladipo (who has yet to debut this season). Expect Omer Yurtseven to start in Adebayo’s place.
Key To the Game
Play Through Your Star(s)
Without so many starters, the Sixers must turn to their stars in order to secure victory. First and foremost, of course, this means Joel Embiid, who will be matched up against the significantly slower Omer Yurtseven and Dewayne Dedmon. Embiid should have an opportunity tonight to exploit Miami’s lack of big athleticism and likely work his way to the line as he does so often.
It’s not just Embiid the Sixers have to rely on, though. Tyrese Maxey has shown on multiple occasions that he is ready for more responsibility on this roster. When called upon, Maxey has shown a top-tier scoring ability. He was already an elite finisher, but this season he’s brought a bit more to the table. Maxey has become a beyond-reliable outside shooter making threes at a clip over 40%. Whether driving toward the hoop or with his new outside shot, the young guard should be the Sixers’ second option every single night.
Nothing will come easy tonight for the Sixers, but they certainly have a shot. It will be a fun battle as always between former teammates Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid as they both strive to lead their team to dominance in the Eastern Conference.
Tip-off is at 8:00 PM EST, and you can catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live as always on 97.5 FM The Fanatic. After the game, don’t forget to check out Philly Sports Network for the exciting recap!