The Philadelphia 76ers are set to take on the Memphis Grizzlies in what is expected to be an exciting season where the Sixers expect to make the playoffs. Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons will be on the court for the Sixers.
The Sixers though have some injuries. Joel Embiid will be out for the whole preseason. Embiid is still recovering from having a torn meniscus which was repaired via surgery in March. The tear ended his season and it is now sidelining him for the beginning of the season. Embiid is entering his fourth year in the NBA but has only played one season.
In that season, which was last year, he only played in 31 games. This doesn’t bode well for a player that is trying to negotiate a contract and make $100 million and stay in Philly. The Sixers if they see Embiid out for a long period of time may be very circumspect in their negotiations with Embiid.
Embiid’s production while he did play though was very exceptional. Embiid averaged 20.2 points per game last year while only playing 25.4 minutes per game. If you want a comparison to see how good the stats were DeMarcus Cousins averaged 33.8 minutes per game but averaged 24.4 points a game.
Embiid participated in a five on five half court scrimmage on Monday where the 76ers head coach Brett Brown said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer, Embiid, “looked good.” Embiid has said that he hopes to play in the season opener against the Washington Wizards but it will come down to him being in enough shape to play. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer Embiid said:
“It’s not just about rehabbing,” Embiid said. “It’s also about like being in the best shape possible, which I’m not yet on that level. But hopefully, I can [play] in the first game of the season.”
Embiid is the leading scorer from last season and will be a vital part of the Sixers playoffs hopes.
Coach Brett Brown was pleased with what he saw but is not surprised. According to Sixers.com Brown said:
“It’s not that complicated,” said Brett Brown. “His breakaway speed, his ability to get to the rim with his size, or find others, is elite.”
Simmons will look to get in game action against NBA opponents on Wednesday.
The Sixers are facing the Grizzlies who have players like Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Chandler Parsons. The Grizzlies won the season series last year by going 2-0. The Grizzlies were a playoff team last year going seventh in the conference standings in the west. The Sixers will get experience early in the season by facing off a playoff contender from last year.
This game is not going to count for either team’s record so it will be good practice for the players after working against each other in training camp last week.