Philadelphia 76ers

Rip City Rewind: Everything you might have missed from the Portland Trail Blazers win over the Philadelphia 76ers

Rip City Rewind: Everything you might have missed from the Portland Trail Blazers win over the Philadelphia 76ers

On the second night of a seven-game road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers made a stop in Philly to take on the 76ers.

Coming off a double-digit win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, the Blazers looked to take advantage of the Joel Embiid-less 76ers behind their big duo of Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter, and they did just that. 

While the center tandem controlled the offensive glass, Maurice Harkless and Al Farouq-Aminu, who typically fly under the radar, hit their groove.

Here’s a look at everything you might have missed as the Blazers beat the 76ers, 130-115.

In Saturday’s win, seven Blazers scored in double figures. Moe Harkless finally found his spark, dropping 13 points, five rebounds and three steals in the contest. Meanwhile, it was Al-Farouq Aminu, who impressed for the Blazers bigs. He added 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal in the game.

Jamie Hudson noted tandem’s versatility in Portland’s win: Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu bring that spark that nobody talks about

The Trail Blazers were on the rebound attack on Saturday in Philly. Without Joel Embiid, “Nurk and Turk” came alive on the boards. Jusuf Nurkic dropped 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in just 24 minutes, while Enes Kanter had 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in his second game for Portland.

Dwight Jaynes took a look at the Blazers big rebound advantage: That sound you hear is the Blazers eating the Sixers alive on the boards

Following the game, Jamie Hudson shared her initial reactions to the Blazers victory over the 76ers: Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Trail Blazers win over the Philadelphia Sixers

Next up, Portland takes on the Cavaliers in Cleveland. Here's how and where you can watch Monday's game

That sound you hear is the Blazers eating the Sixers alive on the boards

That sound you hear is the Blazers eating the Sixers alive on the boards

The Trail Blazers attacked rebounds Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia the way a pack of dogs would go after cheesesteak scraps over at Pat’s or Geno’s emporiums of the local specialty.

The 76ers were eaten alive on the boards – a 53-33 advantage for Portland that included a whopping 19 offensive rebounds -- and were outplayed at both ends of the court.

The final score was 130-115 but the game was not nearly that close.

Without all-star center Joel Embiid, the Sixers were lost. Portland had 66 points in the paint and 19 second-chance points. The Trail Blazers’ double-barreled center combo of "Nurk and The Turk" -- Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter -- was dominant, just as it had been at Brooklyn Thursday against the Nets.

Nurkic had 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in just 23:32. He hit nine of his 13 shots. Kanter had 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 20:40.

The inside scoring made up for another sub-par shooting night from three-point range, as Portland made just five of 23 from long range.

And balanced scoring was a big deal, with seven players in double figures. The Blazers moved the ball well enough to get 29 assists while coughing up just 11 turnovers.

That made it a rare night when Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were not as necessary as usual. Lillard finished with 17 points and McCollum with 15. They each went 1-5 from three-point range. But both are willing passers and Lillard finished with eight assists in just under 30 minutes of duty.

“We don’t need Dame or CJ to score 25 each,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “Obviously, we're a team in transition. We're still finding out what works for us. Hopefully that’s a good sign that we can continue to score the ball with Damian and CJ maybe having off-nights.”

Portland was very attentive on defense in this game, even though the Sixers’ 48.3 shooting percentage speaks to the contrary.  Anytime you can hold JJ Redick to 1-10 shooting, you’re doing something right.

“It’s an early game,” Nurkic said after the game, which started at 1 p.m., local time. “First to wake up wins.”

Nurkic got into a iittle back-and-forth with Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and it prompted a quip after the game.

“I’m a better shooter than him,” Nurkic said. “I am for sure, that. The way he’s able to shoot – or not able to shoot – is ridiculous. But it is what it is.”

And the big rebounding edge?

“They tried to get small to get back in the game,” Nurkic said. “And we did a good job of not letting them make a run.”

Kanter passed the credit around for the big rebound advantage.

“When we have bigs like Nurk and myself… and not just the bigs, when you see Jake got 11 rebounds today… and not just him, but Mo and Al-Farouq Aminu, when we all crash the boards like that, it’s very tough for other teams to get fastbreak points,” Kanter said. “That’s making the game easier for us.”

 

Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu bring that spark that nobody talks about

Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu bring that spark that nobody talks about

PHILADELPHIA – Role players on professional teams rarely get the recognition they deserve, but so far on this Trail Blazers’ seven-game road trip, that’s who is getting a lot of props from Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and the Blazers’ star players.

Portland’s starting forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless, who usually go under the radar, were front and center when talking about why the Blazers have started out 2-0 on this East Coast swing.

Aminu finished with the second-highest plus/minus on the team with a +23 only second to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum’s +24 in Saturday’s game. Harkless finished with the third best, a +22, as the Blazers put on an offensive clinic against the 76ers, beating Philadelphia 130-115.

 “Their presence is always felt,” Lillard said, even though to media and fans the tandem might go unnoticed at times.

Playing as a team is what this Blazers squad has always been about, but now with the new additions of Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood along with some much needed-rest from the All-Star break, this Blazers’ team looks like the sky is the limit.

In Saturday’s win, seven players scored in double figures.

“Aside from the new guys and Nurk playing the way he has played these first two games, I think [Aminu and Harkless] have really been a spark for us -- rebounding, defensively, you know, communication, just the activity of both of them out there together is a lot to deal with for opposing teams,” Lillard said.

“I thought Moe Harkless had an outstanding game. He was able to score when he had his opportunities, he made big help (defense) decisions,” Stotts said postgame.

Harkless finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and three steals in Saturday’s win. Aminu added 15 points, six rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

Coach Stotts was pleased with both of his starting forwards and that confidence in both Harkless and Aminu has never wavered.

“I like what they’re doing at both ends. Offensively, they’re playing well. Moe had matchups that he looked for, and we looked for, he was aggressive, finished around the basket. Defensively both of them have always been are, and have always been, like I’ve said for the three years, they complement each other at the defensive end with their switching and their length,” Stotts said.

In Thursday’s win over the Nets, Aminu had a +34, while Harkless recorded a +32 to earn the best plus-minus of the team. That goes to show just how much of a positive impact the duo is making after the All-Star break.

The tandem was getting it done on both ends of the court, as they often do, especially early on.

“[Aminu] showed his versatility. He can guard 1 through 5. He can switch out on centers. He can switch out on guards… That’s the type of versatility from all those guys we need for the rest of the season,” McCollum said.
As for Harkless, it looks as though he is back to his old self.

“I’m just trying to build off the last game, just come out with the same type of mentality, same type of aggressiveness… Just doing things that I can do every night, taking advantage of mismatches, aggressive on the boards, and playing defense,” Harkless said.

Harkless has now scored in double-digits in three straight games.

The 25-year-old small forward has played in just 38 games this season while dealing with a lingering knee issue.

Harkless’ running mate is happy to see his knee feeling so good.

“For me, to see him just being healthy is really nice. I feel like sometimes we forget stuff like that… Injury has kind of held him back a little bit. To see him hitting his groove is nice,” Aminu said. 

It was obvious in the locker room after Saturday’s game that Harkless was feeling good again after the jokes he was making.

“Jake [Layman] got everybody going. We were just being aggressive attacking the rim… We’ve got guys like Jake who has a whole lot of bounce, so he got me excited. I went in there a couple of times trying to make something too,” Harkless said with big a smile.

Saturday’s victory improves Portland’s road record to 11-15 and it proves that this Blazers’ team has players who understand their role and their teammates are always quick to recognized their efforts.

Saturday equaled a team win for the Blazers.

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Trail Blazers win over the Philadelphia Sixers

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Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Trail Blazers win over the Philadelphia Sixers

PHILADELPHIA – It was a 10am pacific tip-off on Saturday as the Trail Blazers visited the Philadelphia 76ers, but it looked like Portland had already adjusted nicely to the East Coast time change.

Saturday’s game was close throughout the first half, yet the Blazers put up 41 points in the third and cruised to a 130-115 win over the Sixers to improve to 2-0 on their current seven-game road trip and snag their third straight victory overall.   

Final Box Score: Trail Blazers 130, Sixers 115 

Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers second straight road win:

 

1.Simmons is gonna need to develop a three-point shot at some point, right?

With Sixers All-Star wing Ben Simmons not being a threat to shoot the three-point ball at all meant Maurice Harkless or whoever had the defensive assignment on Simmons at the time was really able to sag off him. You don’t see that hardly at all in the modern-day NBA. With that though the Blazers were able to help off Simmons more and focus on Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler, especially early on.

 

2. The Layman factor

What a sequence it was for Jake Layman early in the second quarter.

With Evan Turner out for Saturday’s game because of knee sorness, Layman and Rodney Hood saw the floor a little bit more.

Layman showed once again why he has earned a spot in the Blazers’ rotation.

Layman drove to the hoop hard and finished with a driving dunk that seemed to stun the 76ers crowd at the 10:11 mark of the second. He then followed that up two possessions later with a block on Sixers All-Star Jimmy Butler.

The block on Butler is just another play that proves Layman has made a point to improve on the defensive end. So often, the talk is all about Layman’s offense – his dunks, his back-cuts, his rainbow threes – which makes sense, but people should really start examining his defensive efforts. The stops and the blocks on that end are probably more of a reason why coach Terry Stotts has been giving him even more of an opportunity.

According to the referees in Philly though, Layman was a little too aggressive. He got into early foul trouble, picking up his third foul at the 2:46 mark of the second quarter. Layman still stayed aggressive and since the Blazers started blowing out the Sixers late in the third quarter, Layman wasn’t needed much late down the stretch.

 

3. Blazers gobble up offensive rebounds

At the end of the third quarter, 17 of the Blazers’ 44 rebounds were offensive. Portland also outscored Philadelphia 50-44 with points in the paint after three, which meant the Blazers were taking advantage of Joel Embiid not playing due to knee soreness.

The 76ers, on the other hand, were unable to get very many extra possessions. At the end of the third period, Philadelphia had just four offensive rebounds and only totaled 23 rebounds at that point.

One last thing – the second half turned into a dunk fest for the Blazers and Philly fans were not happy about it. The crowd let out some loud boos when the Sixers called a timeout at the 10:31 mark in the fourth with the Blazers up 21 and then later in the game as well.

NEXT UP: The Trail Blazers visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night with a 4:30pm PT start time. Our pregame coverage tips off at 3:30pm on NBC Sports Northwest.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your Blazers and stream the games easily on your device.

Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Philadelphia 76ers

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Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA – Today marks the second game of a 13-day, seven-game trip for the Trail Blazers. Portland started off the trip with a 113-99 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

 

Today also marks the second of two meetings between Portland and Philadelphia this season after the Trail Blazers easily defeated the Sixers 129-95 on Dec. 30th at the Moda Center with 76ers big man Joel Embiid out of the lineup that night.

 

Before today’s game, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Sixers head coach Brett Brown addressed the media.

 

Coach Brown discussed the biggest challenges with having five new players in the team’s 10-man rotation – It’s the communication on the defensive end.

 

The Sixers are looking to talk more and “a lot quicker” especially to contain Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

 

There’s no doubt that Philadelphia now has plenty of great shooters, but Coach Brown says even though his team is trying to figure out how to play with each other and at times they might be too unselfish, he knows it’s a good problem to have and they will never complain about having too many scorers. 

 

Coach Brown also believes that Lillard is one of the most underrated players in the league.

 

“I am and have been a massive fan of Damian Lillard. He does fly under the radar… I think his defense has improved overtime, but his ability to score in a bunch of different ways and his ability to just punish a game if you have a sliver of a mistake is, you know, Steph-like. It is. He can do it with range, he can do it with speed, he can do something at the rim,” Brown said.  

 

76ers Injury Report vs. Blazers:

 

Joel Embiid (left knee), Shake Milton (right hand), and Zhaire Smith (left foot) are out for today’s game.

 

Hear from Coach Brown right here:

 

 

Blazers Injury Update: Evan Turner (left knee soreness) is out for today’s game.

 

Coach Stotts says you can expect Maurice Harkless, Rodney Hood, and Jake Layman to all get more minutes with ET out.

 

Philadelphia is starting center Boban Marjanović with Embiid out due to a knee injury. Coach Stotts knows Boban can have a major impact down low.

 

“I have a lot of respect for Boban. He’s a really skilled big man. He’s got a nice touch, he passes, he affects shots at the rim,” Stotts said.

 

Hear from Coach Stotts right here:

 

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Philadelphia 76ers: How and Where to Watch

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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Philadelphia 76ers: How and Where to Watch

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your Blazers and stream the games easily on your device.

GAME DETAILS

Where to Watch: NBC Sports Northwest

Where to Watch on the go: Stream the game live on the new MyTeams App

Tip-Off Time: 10:00 a.m. 

Point spread: Philadelphia -2

NBCS NW Coverage: Blazers Outsiders Pregame Show (3:30 p.m.), Blazers Outsiders Postgame Show (immediately after the game). 

Radio: 620AM Rip City Radio

 

INJURY UPDATES

The Blazers have listed Evan Turner (left knee soreness) as out for Saturday’s game at Philadelphia.

The 76ers have listed Joel Embiid (left knee), Shake Milton (right hand), and Zhaire Smith (left foot) as out.


QUICK LINKS

Dwight Jaynes: 'Nurk and The Turk' haul Trail Blazers to an old-school win

Jamie Hudson: Jusuf Nurkic leads strong 1-2 punch in win over Nets

VIDEO: Did Nurk and Kanter just become best friends? Yup.

VIDEO: Highlights: Long road trip gets started on the right foot!

VIDEO: Kanter comes up big in Blazers debut in the Big Apple
 

Download the brand new MyTeams app today - This is the app for everything Blazers: games, highlights, articles, podcasts and more from your NBC Sports Northwest Blazers team.

Trail Blazers drub 76ers, who played without the world's best player

Trail Blazers drub 76ers, who played without the world's best player

The Philadelphia 76ers proved one thing Sunday night in Moda Center against the Portland Trail Blazers:

Their center, Joel Embiid, who sat the game out with a sore knee, may well be the best player in the world. He MUST be, to make the hapless-on-this-night Sixers worthy of a 23-14 record.

Philadelphia, which was just this side of pathetic against the Trail Blazers, shot only 35.4 percent from the field and an incredibly horrific 18.6 percent from three-point range. Portland, meanwhile, worked Philadelphia over to the tune of 59 percent from the floor and 54.5 percent from three – both season highs.

The Blazers’ 34-point victory was their largest of the season and they actually led by 43 at one point. They shot 65.6 percent after three quarters before turning the game over to the end of their bench.

“I was really proud of the way we played in the first half at both ends,” Portland Coach Terry Stotts said.

The Trail Blazers got 35-51 shooting from their starters, with Evan Turner taking over for Maurice Harkless, who was resting a sore left knee. But the big news was that CJ McCollum was able to shoot his way out of a three-point slump that had been hindering him for a few weeks.

McCollum went 13-18 from the field and 4-7 from three-point range. He scored 35 points in just 27:50.

“Overall, I think we played a good game and I made some shots, which made it easier for everybody else,” McCollum said. “It was a big win for us going into a new year and a tough road opponent in the Sacramento Kings.

“I understand how much time I put in and how many shots I put up. I knew the tide would turn eventually.

“The important thing is to be yourself. If you’re a shooter, shoot it. If you’re a ball handler, handle the ball. If you’re a defensive player, defend.”

Sixer Coach Brett Brown pointed to the absence of Embiid and what it meant for his team.

“Just the reality of how much Joel means to the team,” Brown said, “I’ve said, I’ll say it again, I think he’s a defensive player of the year. You know, you feel him, whether you look at the points in the paint, it’s at 62 to 30, whether you look at the rebounding margin (59-36).

“And I think the guys that we had, we just struggled defending them. We missed a lot of shots, we had a hard time defending them and the combination is lethal.”

Very true, but I think it’s only fair to point out that the 76ers are very talented, even without their center. They have one of the best two-way players in the league in Jimmy Butler, supposedly. Butler went 2-12 from the floor.

They have JJ Redick, an all-time great three-point shooter who was 3-11 overall and 2-7 from three.

They have Ben Simmons, last season’s Rookie of the Year, who managed to go 7-12 from the field but just 5-10 from the foul line.

Simmons has a jump shot that looks like a right-handed player trying to work on his left-handed shots. Except that Simmons is left-handed.

The Trail Blazers, who got double-figure scoring from all their starters but Turner, who finished with 8, did a very good defensive job on the Sixers, one of those teams that insists on beating you with three-point field goals, even on nights when they are not going in for them. They finished a rather mind-boggling 8-43 from that range.

The Trail Blazers head for Sacramento Monday and meet the Kings on New Year’s Day.

Don't call it a slump! CJ McCollum breaks out in blowout of Philadelphia 76ers

Don't call it a slump! CJ McCollum breaks out in blowout of Philadelphia 76ers

Under three minutes into the game, CJ McCollum had picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench at the at the 8:17 mark in the first quarter when Seth Curry checked in for him.

At that point, Portland was up 13-9 over Philadelphia, but it was easy to think it could be a long night for the Blazers and McCollum after having to go to the bench so early.

Not to mention, Portland was without one of its starters with Maurice Harkless (left knee) sitting out in the second night of a back-to-back.

Philadelphia was also without one of it starters—All-Star big man Joel Embiid.

The Sixers missed Embiid in a big way, but McCollum came out of his ‘shooting slump’ in an even bigger way.

“I’ve felt good the last few games. I’m just trying to get into a rhythm. Trying to stay on the court. I got two fouls early tonight, but overall I think we played a good game. I made some shots and I think that made it easier for everybody else,” McCollum said.

The Blazers cruised to a 129-95 victory after scoring 70 points in the first half.

CJ FEELING IT
So what about McCollum?

Two quick fouls didn’t slow him down.

McCollum was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor in the first quarter including making his only three-point attempt.

The Blazers starting shooting guard finished the game with 35 points on 18 shots in just 28 minutes of work. The best part for McCollum – he made 4-of-7 from three-point range and broke out of that three-point shooting slump we’ve seen over the past few weeks.

McCollum’s running mate, Damian Lillard added 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the win.

“It was a great performance. I think early in the game I saw that he was making shots. It was going for him... We had a pretty good defensive effort going in as well as a group,” Lillard said.

McCollum has scored 30+ now for the sixth time. If he would’ve played the fourth quarter he would have most likely hit the 40-point mark, which he has done three times already this season.

It was definitely one of those special nights and his teammates recognized it early.

“Just keep feeding him. You know when he gets in one of those grooves… It could be one of those nights that you ride it out and I thought we did that,” Lillard said.

It’s not only fun for fans to sit back and watch McCollum go off, Jusuf Nurkic also enjoys kicking back and watching the show from the bench.

“When CJ got going… When you’re on the bench and you’re looking there, it’s like, ‘man it’s gonna be a light night.’ Anytime somebody has (a good) shooting night it just looks good,” Nurkic said.

Evan Turner got the start in place of the injured Harkless. Turner had eight points and seven rebounds. He was also happy his teammate found his stroke again.

“I know the past few games he’s been a little off, but that’s definitely impressive on his second night of a back-to-back and, you know, we really needed it and I thought he did a great job,” Turner said.

DON'T CALL IT A SLUMP
For his career, McCollum is shooting 40 percent from long distance entering Sunday’s game.

McCollum went 22-for-77 (28.6%) from three-point range in the month of December. Before Sunday’s game, McCollum had zero or one three-pointer in six games this past month.  

But, No. 3 from Lehigh does not call what he was going through a ‘slump.’

It was just simply missing buckets.

“I felt like I was missing shots. I felt like I was, you know, getting some of the same looks that I’ve been getting my entire life and I wasn’t making them,” McCollum said.

“I figured the tide would turn, eventually,” McCollum added.

It was not only a great shooting night for McCollum, but as a team, the Blazers ended the game shooting 59 percent from the field, including 54.5 percent from three. The Blazers’ 106 points through three quarters are the most points the Blazers have scored through three quarters this season.

LOVING THE BLOWOUT
Portland is now 6-3 in its last nine games and it was obvious that this Blazers team was relieved to have a blowout win.

“We really needed something like this just to rest and, you know, get the right momentum going and, you know, the biggest thing now is resting up and trying to duplicate it,” Turner said.

The Blazers will now hit the road. Portland will travel on New Year’s Eve with a New Year’s Day game vs. the Sacramento Kings.

Blazer fans should be thankful Portland is playing in a more of a sleepy city and not a party city.

Nurkic joked about being in Sacramento and from the sounds of it, they won’t be raring to go out.

“I’m really happy about that… Sleep at 11 o’clock,” Nurkic said with a smile on his face.

That should mean a well-rested Blazers team on New Year’s Day, which is just what they will need playing against the team who leads the league in pace.   

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Blazers win over the 76ers

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Blazers win over the 76ers

When you lead by as many as 42 points, you're usually going to win the game. That's exactly what the Blazers did on Sunday. Joel Embiid didn't play for the 76ers and the Blazers took advantage of Philly missing its best player. This was the get right game that the Blazers needed, and to beat a good team like this on the second of a back-to-back makes it that much better.

Here are some quick thoughts from our reporters on the scene...

Final Box Score: Blazers 129 - 76ers 95

Dwight Jaynes, Trail Blazers' Insider:  I know Embiid is important to Philly but that's no excuse for such a poor performance. Sixers were awful and Blazers were on fire, including CJ McCollum, who snapped out of his three-point slump in a big way.

Jamie Hudson, Trail Blazers' Reporter: You could not trust the Sixers' process tonight. The Blazers shot well, more specifically CJ McCollum shot well to lead the charge on offense. As for the Sixers, yes they didn't have Joel Embiid, but early in the 4th quarter Philly was shooting just 17% from three. It was an ugly game for the 76ers. Jimmy Butler was nowhere to be found on the offensive end. Portland was in need of game like this one. To have a blowout victory where you can rest your starters on the second night of a back-to-back is a double win.

Mike Richman, Trail Blazers' Reporter: CJ McCollum busted out of his month long slump in a big way, torching the lifeless Sixers for 35 points in 28 minutes. This was a beat down of epic proportions and a nice bounce back win for the Blazers on the second night of back to back games.

***Be sure to check back here throughout tonight for locker room videos with Coach Stotts and the players, plus locker room reports from Jamie Hudson and Dwight Jaynes***

NEXT UP: The Blazers hit the road for a quick one-game trip against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, January 1st. Tip-off is set for 6:00pm with coverage beginning at 5:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your Blazers and stream the games easily on your device.

Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Philadelphia 76ers

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Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Philadelphia 76ers

It is the second night of a back-to-back for the Trail Blazers as Portland gets set to host the Sixers.

 

Before tonight’s game Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Sixers head coach Brett Brown gave updates to the media.

 

Stotts discussed how he feels that Meyers Leonard is most likely having his best season of his career. He has been pleased with his progression and how confident Leonard has been this year.

 

The Sixers pose a few challenges for the Blazers with big man Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler and Coach Stotts addressed both players’ strengths.

 

Coach Stotts also talked about what tonight’s game could look like with Embiid not on the floor.

 

“I think it changes more for them, than for us. Obviously, the guys will have more of an impact on the game. We’ll see if he doesn’t play… who gets those minutes and how Brett decides to rotate his players,” Stotts said. 

 

UPDATE: Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless (left knee) will NOT play tonight.

 

Hear from Coach Stotts:

 

 

Sixers Injury Update: Joel Embiid (left knee) was initially listed as questionable, but he has now been downgraded to OUT for tonight’s contest.

 

Coach Brown says the training staff is not worried about Embiid’s knee soreness.

 

“We’ll figure out what’s gonna happen tomorrow and go from there. It’s not anything that we’re concerned about – just reacting to, you know, his thoughts and the medical staff thoughts that perhaps it might be best to sit,” Brown said.


The Sixers will start Amir Johnson in place of the injured Embiid.

 

Hear from Coach Brett Brown: