The Philadelphia 76ers entered the 2019 NBA Playoffs as a team widely viewed as one who could be a “Cinderella” of sorts. While they’re the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors are believed to be the favorites. But after a Game 1 slip-up against the Brooklyn Nets, the Sixers now need to turn the tides and do so quickly.
Philly lost 111-102 on their home floor in Game 1 behind 26 points from D’Angelo Russell, along with Caris LeVert’s 23 and Spencer Dinwiddie’s 18 off the bench. Backup forward Ed Davis was excellent as well, totaling 12 points with 16 rebounds in 25 minutes. The Sixers had no answer in this game, and the outlook may get even tougher with Joel Embiid’s status again up in the air.
Embiid was doubtful for the series opener but was able to suit up and play 24 minutes. He scored 22 points with 15 rebounds, five blocks and four assists, but even his strong showing wasn’t enough. His status again remains up in the air for Game 2, so we’re going to take a look at Embiid’s injury outlook along with the Sixers roster and starting lineup for Game 2.
Joel Embiid’s Injury Status & Updates
UPDATE: Joel Embiid WILL be available.
The league’s official injury report again has three Sixers players listed, and Embiid’s status remains the headliner. The good news is that after being doubtful prior to Saturday’s game, he’s only questionable at this point.
Here’s a look at the full injury report for the Sixers side of Game 2, per the NBA:
- Joel Embiid (left knee soreness): Questionable
- Jonah Bolden (left knee soreness): Probable
- James Ennis (right quad contusion): Probable (upgraded from doubtful)
UPDATE: James Ennis has been cleared to play and upgraded to probable – will be limited to 12 minutes tonight. Joel Embiid is a game-time decision.
It seems likely that the All-Star center will suit up, but as far as how many minutes he could see, that’ll be the big question. Philly obviously needs him on the floor, but this series has the potential to go beyond five games, so the Sixers need to play it smart with him as well.
Sixers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Nets: Game 2
*Notates expected starter
C: Joel Embiid*, Jonah Bolden (P), Boban Marjanovic, Greg Monroe, Amir Johnson
PF: Tobias Harris*, Mike Scott
SF: Jimmy Butler*, James Ennis (P), Furkan Korkmaz, Jonathon Simmons
SG: JJ Redick*, Zhaire Smith, Shake Milton, Haywood Highsmith
PG: Ben Simmons*, T.J. McConnell
While the Sixers are down 1-0 in the series, they got a huge performance from Jimmy Butler in the opener. He poured in 36 points on 11-of-22 shooting while adding nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Both Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris struggled at times while JJ Redick scored just five points and fouled out after 23 minutes.
The Sixers obviously need Simmons, Harris and Redick to step up regardless of whether Embiid plays or not. If the big man is at less than 100 percent (which he surely is), that trio needs to have a big night on Monday with Butler continuing to attack the rim and seeking out his own shot as well.