The 8-4 Sixers will seek to change their mini-series against the 4-5 Heat on Thursday night.
Here’s the main thing:
- When: 19:00 with Sixers Pregame Live at 18:15
- Where: Wales Fargo Center
- Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Live Stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app
And here are three storylines to watch:
Staying relatively young (for now)
Numerous reports Wednesday show that the Sixers are one of two finalists for James Harden, which is now officially a network, thanks to a deal involving Brooklyn, the Rockets, the Cavs and the Pacers. Athletic̵
Leaving aside the question of what kind of compensation project the Sixers are offering, one of the main conclusions from Wednesday’s high-drama talks is that the Sixers are reportedly ready to part with Simmons. Basketball operations president Daryl Morey technically maintained the statement made last month that the team did not trade with Simmons, but they did not seem to be far from it.
There are many other important considerations, but it is remarkable that Simmons is 24 years old and Tibul 23. Harden is 31 and is under contract for two more seasons, with the option to play in 2022-23. He has been very reliable in terms of health and availability throughout this career, even if he has not entered this season in peak physical condition. Still, the urgency to win now would obviously increase if the Sixers ran Harden’s trading. Of course, the whole goal of making a deal would be to improve the team’s short-term odds.
Sixers have the flexibility and many opportunities leading to the March 25 trading deadline. The team has the bulk of the average taxpayer exemption and a $ 8.2 million trade exemption from the Al Horford-Danny Green trade.
Bradley Beale is another star who would provide a high-level perimeter, and Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer said the Sixers are known to have an interest in him.
Reinforcements for Sixers?
No NBA injury report seems to be short these days.
However, several key Sixers were listed as probable Wednesday night, which is certainly good news for the team.
Here is the full Sixers injury report:
- Out, health and safety protocols: Seth Curry, Vincent Poirier
- Outside, left adductor strain: Furkan Korkmaz
- Probable health and safety protocols: Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, Mathis Tiboul, Terrance Ferguson
- Probably a tightening in the back: Joel Embiid
- Probably swelling of the left knee: Ben Simmons
Eight Heat players were still listed as sentenced for health and safety reasons. Myers Leonard (left shoulder strain) is listed as suspicious, and Gabe Vincent (right knee pain) is likely.
“Great Believer” in Embiid
With all due respect to Precious Achiuva and Chris Silva, the race was not the best for Embiid in the Sixers’ extra time on Tuesday night over Miami.
Still, it’s hard to overestimate how excellent he was. His defensive impact should be obvious, but Embiid scored with great efficiency to start the season. He shot 38.7 percent of a three-point range, making 86 percent of his free throws and posting 135.0 points per 100 strike attempts. This latest figure is third in the Sixers behind Seth Curry and Dwight Howard, for glass cleaning, which is remarkable given that Embiid easily leads the team in frequency of use.
Howard is impressed, though not surprised.
“I’m really proud of Joel and how he’s done this year,” Howard said on Tuesday. “I believe in him very much. I think he has the potential to be one of the greatest men to ever play basketball. It’s really up to him and how badly he wants it. I just want to be by his side and just push him because I really believe in him. Tonight he showed what he is capable of and what he can really do for his entire career. We just have to keep trusting him, he has to keep trusting us and, as he always said, trust the process – because it’s a process.
“It takes time to be great. I’m happy with how we played tonight. He did an amazing job. He hit a few big shots, (got) big stops in defense, big thefts. He had a great game overall. I am extremely impressed and happy to see the success he has had so far in his career, and I just want him to continue to believe and push. “