Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers will travel to TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics. This should be an exciting matchup as the Sixers (12-6) are fourth in the Eastern Conference while the Celtics (14-4) are first. As far as the Atlantic Division goes, Boston is in the lead followed by Philadelphia. In light of last season's game seven loss to Boston, the Sixers would love a win here.
As a rematch from last year's Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, this is expected to be a close battle. The Celtics have won two straight games and are looking for win number three. The Sixers are coming off a tough loss to New Orleans, but they handed LeBron James the worst loss of his career two games ago. Boston is nearly at full strength heading into this matchup. Unfortunately, that is not the case for Philadelphia, as a lengthy injury report has emerged for the 76ers. To make matters even worse, Philadelphia's top player, Joel Embiid, is listed as questionable.
Joel Embiid questionable for tonight's game against Celtics
According to the injury report, Joel Embiid is questionable for tonight's game against Boston due to an illness. In fact, Embiid didn't even attend the 76er's shootaround this morning.
Embiid averages 32.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game this season. He already missed the Sixers last game against the Pelicans due to the same illness. This was Embiid's second absence of the year. Tonight would be his third missed game. The Sixers are 0-2 without Embiid on the year. Needless to say, Philadelphia will have a hard time beating Boston without him. In addition to Embiid, Jaden Springer (illness) and Nicolas Batum (right finger; soreness) are also listed on the injury report. Both are probable for tonight's game.
In the aftermath of his team's loss to the Pelicans, Sixers coach Nick Nurse told ESPN, “We cannot use [Embiid's absence] as an excuse, and we won’t," Sixers coach Nick Nurse said. "What put us in a big hole is we didn’t go out and execute our defensive schemes the way we wanted to from the start of the game." With Embiid out of the lineup, the Pelicans out-rebounded the Sixers by 10 and scored nearly half of their 124 points in the paint. It remains to be seen whether Philadelphia is capable of winning without their reigning MVP. However, maybe tonight that will change.