The Sixers will be down a third starter on Tuesday night against the Lakers. Josh Richardson is in the concussion protocol.
Perhaps no team has been bitten harder by the injury bug this year than Philadelphia. Already down Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on their West Coast swing, the team will be without their starting shooting guard on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Richardson, who left Sunday’s game after colliding with teammate Alec Burks, suffered a nose contusion and concussion.
The Sixers are hoping to only be without their fourth-leading scorer for one game. Richardson had just returned from a hamstring strain and was averaging 13.9 points and 3.1 assists in 30.7 minutes per game. He joins a walking wounded list that includes Embiid (left shoulder sprain) and Simmons (back).
“You just move on, you move on,” Brown told reporters after his team’s 136-130 loss to the Clippers. “You look down the bench and you’re like ‘Who else can come in?’ and boom, next man up.”
Shake Milton Loses Out on Player of the Week Honors
Shake Milton has been turning heads with his savvy play on the court. The former second-round pick has been logging heavy minutes at point guard in the absence of Ben Simmons and making every one of them count.
Milton scored a team-high 39 points in Sunday’s loss where he buried seven threes. He was 14-of-20 from the field and his streak of 13 consecutive three-pointers over a three-game stretch tied an NBA record.
The 23-year-old, known as Sniper Shake on Twitter, has been putting up some historic numbers. Milton narrowly missed out on Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors to the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Sixers guard has averaged 20.4 points per game in his last five contests, including that 39-point outburst against the Clippers and a 20-point performance versus the Cavaliers.
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Milton became just the ninth player in franchise history to score at least 39 points in a game in his second NBA season. He also became just the 13th player in the NBA this season to score 39 points on 20 attempts or fewer. His 46.6-percent shooting from three leads all second-year players in the league.
Simmons, Embiid Don’t Make Trek to Los Angeles
Sixers head coach Brett Brown told reporters that Ben Simmons will not travel with the team on their four-game West Coast road trip that includes stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento. Instead, Simmons will remain in Philadelphia to get treatment on his injured back.
Meanwhile, Joel Embiid will miss the first two games in Los Angeles and then be re-evaluated for the left shoulder sprain he suffered a week ago. While an MRI revealed no structural damage, the Sixers are being extra cautious with the big man. It seems likely that he’ll remain in Philadelphia for the duration of the West Coast trip but they are not ruling him out yet.
The Sixers started Al Horford at center on Sunday, with reserves Kyle O’Quinn and Norvel Pelle mixing in as well in place of Embiid. Horford scored 12 points in 29 minutes, with O’Quinn chipping in with two points in seven minutes.
Brown has been heaping praise on O’Quinn for his work ethic.
“I respect him, and I appreciate him as a team member on the Sixers,” Brown said.