76ers

Sixers injury update: Joel Embiid exits game vs. Cavs with shoulder injury

Sixers injury update: Joel Embiid exits game vs. Cavs with shoulder injury

Updated: 10:05 p.m.

Already down Ben Simmons, the last thing the Sixers needed was an injury to their other All-Star.

Joel Embiid suffered a left shoulder sprain, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Serena Winters, and did not return vs. the Cavs. He went back to the locker room with a left shoulder injury after he was fouled by Ante Zizic late in the first quarter in Cleveland. 

Embiid and the Cavs’ big man got tangled up and Embiid came up grabbing his shoulder. He then went on to miss both free throws and grimaced the entire time. Furkan Korkmaz purposefully committed a foul to get Embiid back to the locker room. Embiid briefly came back to the bench, but was then summoned by head athletic trainer Kevin Johnson back to the locker room. It appeared GM Elton Brand was waiting for him in the tunnel.

After the game, Embiid was wearing a sling on the injured shoulder in the locker room, according to Winters. He'll have an MRI Thursday, per Keith Pompey of the Inquirer.

The Sixers were already without Simmons, who was diagnosed with nerve impingement in his lower back. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks, per a team spokesperson.

The team was also without Norvel Pelle, who is dealing with an upper respiratory illness. That left Al Horford and Kyle O’Quinn as the only players that can play as true NBA fives. Horford struggled while O'Quinn was solid in his first real action since Jan. 20.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

Sixers at Cavaliers: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

Sixers at Cavaliers: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

At 36-22, the Sixers are a half-game behind the Heat for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

They play the 16-41 Cavaliers Wednesday night in Cleveland, while Miami will host the Timberwolves.

Below are the essentials for tonight’s game. 

When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

Here are three storylines to watch:

‘Next man up’: Shake Milton 

Shake Milton and Ben Simmons both are 23 years old and have 7-foot wingspans. Outside of that, the two don’t have much in common as players.

Monday night, Milton took Simmons’ place as the Sixers’ starting point guard and had seven points, six assists, a steal and a block in 26 minutes. After sliding into the lineup when Josh Richardson was out with a hamstring injury, it looks like he’s going to do the same thing with Simmons sidelined by a nerve impingement in his lower back.

“He’s really taken an incredibly unlikely path. … In general, he can guard better than I originally thought,” Brett Brown said Monday. “I think he’s got some legit point guard thinking in his psyche. I think he can guard multiple positions in the backcourt.”

The 54th pick in the 2018 draft, Milton has already experienced significant back, finger and knee injuries as a professional. A two-way player as a rookie, he earned an NBA contract by performing well in the G League and generally appearing like he belonged at the NBA level. This upcoming stretch without Simmons — however long it is — may very well be be the biggest opportunity he’s had.

“I just feel like it's my job to be ready,” he said. “Whatever the team wants me to do. I feel comfortable on the ball, I feel comfortable off the ball. If somebody goes down, you don't want to see injuries, but it's next man up and I just try to play the role.

No Embiid vs. Drummond matchup

We won't get a Joel Embiid vs. Andre Drummond matchup tonight, since the Cavs center is out with a left calf strain.

The two have a history of trash talk and entertaining duels, with Embiid holding a 6-1 advantage over Drummond and averaging 27.7 points and 10.3 rebounds against him. 

Without Drummond, Cleveland will presumably start Tristan Thompson. The Cavs have still played Thompson 25.2 minutes per game off the bench since acquiring Drummond. 

An easy schedule … in theory

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Sixers have the third-easiest remaining schedule in the NBA. 

While that should make playing without Simmons somewhat less challenging, the thought of simply winning a road game sounds difficult right now. The Sixers haven’t done that since Jan. 20, when Simmons was brilliant against the Nets with a 34-point triple-double.

The team returns home for a game Thursday vs. the Knicks, then heads West for a four-game trip that begins with games against the Clippers and Lakers. 

The Cavs are actually 2-1 since J.B. Bickerstaff took over for John Beilein as head coach, and they topped the Heat on Monday. That said, this is an opponent the Sixers should beat, regardless of where the game is being played. 



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

Matisse Thybulle thinks Tobias Harris stole his phone and hilarity ensues

Matisse Thybulle thinks Tobias Harris stole his phone and hilarity ensues

Matisse Thybulle has been entertaining on the court, leading all rookies in steals. 

His misadventures on the team plane have been equally, if not more entertaining. You'll remember the infamous biscuit fiasco and then his "50 biscuits" redemption a couple weeks later.

As the team traveled to Cleveland Tuesday, Thybulle couldn't find his phone. He was convinced that Tobias Harris took it as he practically tore the plane apart looking for it.

Luckily for us, Harris documented the whole thing on his Instagram story. Here's a large portion of it for your viewing pleasure:

Thybulle is so impressive, he managed to steal his own phone.

Oh, silly rookie. Can't we all relate, though?

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers