Fresh off a close victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers head on the road to face the Chicago Bulls. It’s the second game of a back-to-back and is ESPN’s featured matchup. Unfortunately, there’s a high likelihood that the Sixers will be shorthanded for this game.
Even with a thinned out roster due to injuries and illnesses against the Magic, Philly still managed to pick up a 114-106 win thanks to a few key starters. In Tuesday’s victory, the team was without Joel Embiid, Boban Marjanovic, Jonah Bolden, and Furkan Korkmaz. This led to four of the five starters logging 31 or more minutes and veteran Amir Johnson being thrust into a starting role.
The Sixers went just four players deep into the bench, with Mike Scott and Jonathon Simmons receiving 28 and 27 minutes. The hope is that Brett Brown’s squad can get at least Bolden back on Wednesday against the Bulls, but the other three are all expected to remain out. Fortunately, there does seem to be some positive news on Embiid’s outlook.
Joel Embiid Nearing Return
Embiid has missed all six games since the All-Star break due to knee tendonitis. He was projected to be evaluated after roughly a week, and the 24-year-old is creeping closer to a return to the court. As Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times revealed, Brown stated that Embiid could meet the team in Houston for Friday’s game against the Rockets.
Whether that means he will suit up is unknown, but there does seem to be at least a chance, considering he got in practice time earlier this week. There was nothing serious revealed on Embiid’s knee, so it’s essentially just a waiting game for both the center and team to feel good about putting him back in the mix.
*Note: Embiid has been officially ruled out for the game against the Bulls.
Sixers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Bulls
*Notates expected starter
C: Jonah Bolden*, Amir Johnson, Justin Patton
PF: Tobias Harris*, Mike Scott
SF: Jimmy Butler*, James Ennis
SG: JJ Redick*, Jonathon Simmons
PG: Ben Simmons*, T.J. McConnell
Note: Jonah Bolden will play against the Bulls.
As Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia detailed, Bolden missed the game against the Magic due to an illness. He was starting previously with Embiid and Marjanovic (knee) sidelined, so if he’s able to return for this game would likely jump back into the first five. It’s unknown if he’ll be able to get healthy enough to play in a short turnaround, so we’ll update the situation as more information comes to light.
It’s expected that the minutes should remain roughly the same for this game against the Bulls, and the normal starters will likely all log heavy minutes. Ben Simmons played 40 minutes against Orlando while tallying 16 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists. JJ Redick (26 points, six 3-pointers) and Tobias Harris (21 points, 12 rebounds), as well as Jimmy Butler (14 points in 34 minutes), will also be busy on Wednesday.