The Sixers (49-30) are back in action against the Chicago Bulls (22-57) for the first game of their final road trip of the regular season. Jimmy Butler (back tightness) is out while Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) remains a game-time decision. The Bulls have won just four of their past 16 games, and one of those wins was their last matchup against the Sixers, on March 6.
Here are the essentials for tonight's game:
When: 8 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 7 p.m.
Where: United Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
Here are three storylines to watch:
Greg Monroe set to debut
Whether or not Embiid plays tonight, head coach Brett Brown says he intends to give Monroe time. The Sixers signed the nine-year veteran center, after waiving Justin Patton, with the intention of adding a veteran presence come playoff time. Many have questioned what adding another center could provide, and tonight we’ll get our first look at Monroe.
Zhaire Smith steps into the spotlight
With the news that James Ennis III will be sidelined for at least two weeks with a quad contusion, Brown’s already thin bench has become even thinner. In Thursday night’s loss to Milwaukee, rookie Zhaire Smith played over 17 minutes, finishing with six points and three rebounds (which is absolutely bonkers if you know Smith’s story). With Shake Milton ineligible for the playoffs (two-way contract) and Jonathon Simmons seemingly out of the rotation (Brown has opted to go with both Milton and Smith over Simmons as of late), Smith could actually be called upon in the postseason. Smith won’t be able to make up a season’s worth of experience in a few games, but the more time he gets, the better.
Jonah Bolden's role
As the season winds down, Brown is still figuring out the best way to utilize Jonah Bolden — and keep him out of foul trouble. Expect for Bolden to continue to get opportunities at the four tonight, which means Tobias Harris slide to a three in certain rotations.
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