Updated: 5:20 p.m.
We’re waiting for a timeline on how long Ben Simmons, who suffered a left patella subluxation in Wednesday’s game, will be sidelined. Meanwhile, the 41-27 Sixers will play their fourth seeding game on Friday night against the 32-37 Magic. Al Horford will start in Simmons' place, Brett Brown said pregame.
Here are the essentials:
When: 6:30 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6
Where: HP Field House
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
And here are three storylines to watch:
One of the impacts without Simmons
Before sustaining his injury, Simmons attempted a corner three last game, his first legitimate long-range try since Dec. 7. The Sixers will likely miss his passing to three-point threats far more than his own three-point shooting.
That said, the team took 35.8 threes per game and made 42.3 percent in its eight games before the hiatus, with Simmons out because of a nerve impingement in his lower back. Through three games at Disney World, the Sixers have taken 28.3 threes per contest (20th of 22nd teams) and converted 40 percent. The offense without Simmons should revolve around Embiid, but firing up more threes than they have so far will also need to be an emphasis.
We reviewed several other potential ripple effects of Simmons’ injury, including options for the new starting lineup and the expected reliance on Joel Embiid, here.
Other key injuries
Simmons’ injury isn’t the only notable one affecting this game.
Orlando’s Jonathan Isaac suffered a torn ACL on Sunday. Michael Carter-Williams (tendon strain in left foot) and Aaron Gordon (left hamstring strain) are also out. Center Mo Bamba has only played 11 minutes at Disney World. He told The Athletic’s Josh Robbins that’s because he had COVID-19 in June, which impacted his conditioning.
For the Sixers, Mike Scott is available after missing the team's first three seeding games with right knee soreness and Glenn Robinson III remains out with a left hip flexor.
Former Sixers watch
In addition to the aforementioned Carter-Williams, former Sixers Nikola Vucevic, James Ennis and Markelle Fultz are members of the Magic.
An All-Star for the first time last season, Vucevic should have a challenging matchup against Embiid. Ennis, who was traded in February, starts for the Magic and has averaged 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds for the team in 16 games. Fultz has only missed one game this season, posting 11.9 points, 5.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game, and is 4 for 5 from three-point range after the hiatus.
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