Sixers Already Getting Bitten by the Injury Bug

Andre Drummond Sixers

Getty Philadelphia 76ers big man Andre Drummond looks on during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

We always knew that the Philadelphia 76ers could run into some problems this season if Ben Simmons continued to sit out. Looking beyond the loss of his production, though, Simmons’ continued absence also has a ripple effect on Philly’s overall depth.

That’s a best-case scenario, too. If anything else goes wrong — particularly on the injury front — the Sixers could be in for a world of hurt. And just three games into its 2021-22 campaign, the club already looks to be dealing with some bumps and bruises.

As relayed by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, star big man Joel Embiid and his backup, Andre Drummond, have both been added to the team’s injury report on the eve of its Sunday night bout with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Per Pompey, Embiid is questionable with right knee soreness. Drummond, meanwhile, has been listed as doubtful with a sprained right ankle.

The Incredible Shrinking Roster

Joel Embiid Addressed Sixers Fans about Ben Simmons: "Ben is Still our Brother"Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia 76ers – Full Game Highlights | October 22, 2021 | 2021-22 NBA Season 📌 SHOP OUR MERCH: 📌 Follow our Instagram: 📌 Follow our TikTok: 📌 Follow our Facebook: 📌 Follow our Twitter: 📌 SUBSCRIBE, LIKE & COMMENT for MORE! #HouseofHighlights #NBA2021-10-23T00:03:15Z

The ’21-22 NBA season may be less than a week old, but the Sixers appear to be in mid-season form on the injury front. In addition to Embiid and Drummond being up in the air for the OKC game, Shake Milton (right ankle), Grant Riller (left knee) and Ben Simmons (personal reasons) will be sidelined for the 1-1 Sixers.

It was clear that Embiid wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders during the Sixers’ 114-109 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. In just under 30 minutes of play, the four-time All-Star and 2021 NBA MVP runner-up put up 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting. He did add eight rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals, however.

Drummond, meanwhile, logged four points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 18 minutes of play.

Under normal circumstances, Embiid being out of commission would be a prime opportunity for Drummond to show the skills that netted him a pair of All-Star berths as a member of the Detroit Pistons. If both are out, though, Doc Rivers will have to dig deep for a frontcourt answer.

Free-agent signee Georges Niang could step in as a floor-stretching five in a pinch. Or Rivers could look to second-year man Paul Reed, who has greater mobility and defensive potential than the former. Rookie forward-center Charles Bassey would also be an option.

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Green’s Blocking Foul Ruled an Incorrect Call

While much was made of Danny Green’s three consecutive airballs during crunch time of the Sixers-Nets affair, the blocking foul he was called for while guarding Kevin Durant down the stretch also looms large. The play looked as though it may have been a charge by Durant, but Rivers ultimately opted not to challenge the call.

“We have a guy behind our bench that looks at them,” Rivers said of potential missed/incorrect calls in the game, via Sixers Wire. “He had his thumbs down on all of them.”

Turns out this mysterious bench lurker may have made the wrong call. The NBA released its last two-minute report for the game on Saturday and, lo and behold, the blocking foul was ruled to be the incorrect calls by officials.

“Green (PHI) establishes himself in a legal guarding position in Durant’s (BKN) path and Durant moves through his space. An offensive foul should have been called,” the commentary read.


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