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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Articles tagged: Philadelphia 76ers

Extent of Joel Embiid’s thumb injury revealed

Joel Embiid in a Sixers jersey

Jan 6, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid has been playing through a significant thumb injury, and it is one that will require the Philadelphia 76ers star to undergo surgery. That procedure can apparently wait, however.

Embiid has a torn ligament in his thumb, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The plan for now is for the five-time All-Star to have surgery after the Sixers’ season ends.

Embiid injured his thumb during Philadelphia’s overtime win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of the first-round series between the two teams. Initial reports indicated he suffered a torn ligament, but it did not stop Embiid from hitting the game-winning shot in that win.

The Raptors extended the series with a 110-102 win over the 76ers in Game 4 on Saturday. Embiid, who averaged 30.6 points and 11.7 rebounds per game during the regular season, will rely on Philly’s training staff to manage the pain in his thumb. The injury could certainly become a factor in the postseason.

76ers to be without key player for playoff games in Toronto due to vaccine

Doc Rivers in a suit

The Philadelphia 76ers will face the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. As a result, it appears they will be down a key player for at least Games 3 and 4.

76ers coach Doc Rivers confirmed to reporters Sunday that wing player Matisse Thybulle will be ineligible to play when the series shifts to Toronto due to Canada’s vaccine policy.

Thybulle took one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but not a second. Therefore, he fails to meet Canada’s requirements to enter the country.

The 76ers played in Toronto on April 7, and Thybulle did not make the trip for that game either.

Thybulle’s absence could definitely prove noticeable for the 76ers. The third-year guard is considered one of the league’s best wing defenders, and he contributed 1.8 steals per game in just over 25 minutes per game this year.

With the Raptors possessing the likes of Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, and OG Anunoby, not having Thybulle could prove problematic in those two games.

Photo: Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

Joel Embiid has interesting comments about playing in Philadelphia

Joel Embiid holds a ball

Joel Embiid does not think that the City of Brotherly Love gets enough brotherly love from the media.

The Philadelphia 76ers star made some interesting comments this week in response to this year’s MVP race. Embiid said that it can be attributed to bias against him or bias against athletes in Philly if he does not win MVP.

“If it happens, great,” said Embiid of winning the award, per ESPN. “If it doesn’t, I don’t know what I have to do. I’ll feel like they hate me. I feel like the standard for guys in Philly or for me is different than everyone else.”

Embiid, who has yet to win MVP in his career but is a frontrunner this year, scored 44 points in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. If Embiid fails to take home the award, it might not necessarily mean something more sinister is at hand. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets is having a top-flight season too and without a James Harden to ease his load thanks to Denver’s injuries. Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is also roughly on par with Embiid in terms of both individual numbers and team record.

For what it’s worth, there have been four total NBA MVPs from Philadelphia teams (Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Allen Iverson). Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper also just won the National League MVP in baseball this past season. That being said, Embiid is probably not the only one who thinks that athletes in the city have it tough.

Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons reportedly files major grievance against 76ers

Ben Simmons with a shirt on

Ben Simmons is setting up his long-awaited legal battle with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Simmons has filed a grievance in a bid to recoup the nearly $20 million in salary the 76ers withheld this season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne, and Bobby Marks of ESPN. Simmons had attempted to negotiate a settlement after the 76ers traded him, but to no avail.

The 76ers maintain that Simmons was in breach of his contract by not arriving on time for training camp and refusing to play in games. Simmons cited mental health as the reason for his non-participation, while the Sixers have argued that they were not given the proper chance to assess Simmons’ mental health.

The significance of the case could go well beyond Simmons’ finances, as the outcome could set a new precedent for how mental health matters and related contractual issues will be handled in the NBA going forward.

Simmons’ grievance has been in the works for a while, even dating back to his appearance in Philadelphia after he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The case will now head to arbitration.

Photo: Jan 30, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) talks to fans before a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers losing faith in Doc Rivers?

Doc Rivers in a suit

The honeymoon phase for the new-look Philadelphia 76ers may be coming to a screeching halt.

In an episode this week of “The Ringer NBA Show,” NBA writer Wosny Lambre (otherwise known as “Big Wos”) indicated that the 76ers could be losing faith in head coach Doc Rivers, who is in his second year with them.

“I’m hearing [that] guys are not feeling Doc,” said Lambre, noting that he was hearing this from the players’ side and does not know anyone in the administration of Sixers GM Daryl Morey. “[Doc’s] rotations, his philosophy, what he’s doing, guys aren’t feeling it.”

Lambre also said that he recently ran into somebody he knows who is close to the 76ers when the team was in Los Angeles last week.

“I [told him], ‘Sorry but I can’t pick you guys to go to the Finals this year,'” said Lambre. “His response kinda raised my eyebrows — ‘Neither would I.'”

While Lambre’s source from the players’ side could easily be an individual Sixer who is not pleased with his playing time under Rivers this season, the team definitely has some problems that are floating to the surface lately. The 76ers are now just 10-6 with James Harden in the lineup and are also losers of their last three straight. After Thursday’s brutal loss to the rebuilding Detroit Pistons, Rivers even appeared to throw Harden under the bus.

During Rivers’ first season with the Sixers last year, the team got upset in the second round by the Atlanta Hawks, a defeat that led to the messy saga and subsequent divorce from Ben Simmons. Even though Rivers does still have three years left on his contract after this one, he will surely be under scrutiny for the rest of this season, especially with the rumors that were already around weeks ago about a potential Sixers coaching change.

H/T NBA Reddit

Photo: Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

Doc Rivers critical of James Harden after loss

Doc Rivers in a suit

The Philadelphia 76ers have lost three games in a row, and Doc Rivers isn’t letting his bench take the blame for the latest defeat.

The Sixers lost to the Detroit Pistons 102-94 on Thursday night, getting outscored by 14 points in the fourth quarter. Philly’s bench was criticized for only scoring 8 points. But Rivers doesn’t think it’s the bench’s fault. Instead, the Sixers head coach thinks James Harden was taking a lot of shots (and not delivering.)

A reporter said something in Rivers’ postgame media appearance about the bench struggling. Rivers interjected.

“They didn’t struggle; they didn’t get a lot of shots, in their defense. I think during that stretch, it was more James (Harden) than them,” Rivers said.

The comment drew attention because Rivers didn’t hesitate to call out his star player. That may be surprising to some, but that’s part of Rivers’ style. He is honest and direct, and he’s right: it’s hard to blame the bench when they only had 12 total shot attempts.

Meanwhile, Harden went 4/15 and only scored 18 points.

Harden has shot under 30 percent in four games since joining the Sixers. Philly has gone 1-3 in those games. The Sixers need Harden to deliver consistently in order to have a chance to win their games. He didn’t deliver on Thursday night, so it’s no coincidence they lost.

Photo: Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

76ers had to delete tweet after losing to Nuggets

Joel Embiid holds a basketball

The Philadelphia 76ers had a real “congratulations, you played yourself” moment this week.

Philadelphia faced off against the Denver Nuggets in a national TV battle on Monday. The game pitted two of the best centers in the NBA, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, against each other.

The 76ers raced out to a double-digit lead and led by as many as 19, carrying their lead into the second half. That prompted the team’s Twitter page to post a message that read “simple math: 21 > 15” along with an Embiid highlight. Embiid wears jersey No. 21 while Jokic wears No. 15.

Unfortunately, the jinx was in full effect as the 76ers wound up blowing the lead and losing by a final score of 114-110. The team decided to delete their tweet … but not before the Nuggets captured a screenshot. After the game went final, the Nuggets clowned the 76ers over the tweet gone wrong.

Embiid did score 34 points to Jokic’s 22. But Jokic walked out of there with the W, so that is all that mattered. As for the 76ers’ tweet, it is a good lesson to never start gloating early. You would really think the 76ers would know better too after this notorious episode of theirs from a few years ago.

Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant throws shade at 76ers fans after game

Kevin Durant dribbles down the court

Ben Simmons made his highly anticipated return to Philadelphia on Thursday night, and 76ers fans made sure to let him know how they feel about him. The Brooklyn Nets got the last laugh, however, and Kevin Durant clearly enjoyed silencing the crowd.

The Nets cruised to an easy 129-100 win over the Sixers. Durant, who led Brooklyn with 25 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, was asked after the game if he and his teammates were motivated by the reception Simmons received at the Wells Fargo Center. The two-time NBA Finals MVP did not downplay it.

“Most definitely. I think all of us were,” Durant said. “We look at Ben as our brother. We knew this was a hostile environment and we knew he didn’t have the opportunity to play. We wanted to come out there and have (the fans) focus on the court more so than just always focusing on him. They focused on the court tonight. It’s hard to chant at Ben Simmons when you’re losing by that much.”

Simmons was supposedly hoping to be heckled to help his grievance case. If that’s true, he certainly got what he was looking for. Not only did 76ers fans boo Simmons, they also trolled him by cheering one thing that he did prior to the game.

Simmons is expected to return at some point in the near future. NBA fans are praying for a Nets-76ers series in the postseason.

Photo: Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons fires back at 76ers fan account ahead of return to Philly

Ben Simmons on the court

Prior to Ben Simmons’ return to Philadelphia this week, it already looks like you should, as Terrell Owens would say, “get your popcorn ready.”

The Brooklyn Nets will play the 76ers in Philadelphia on Thursday, marking Simmons’ first time returning to Philly since forcing his way out of the city. While Simmons will not be playing in the game, he is expected to sit on the bench, where he is sure to face relentless boos from the Sixers faithful.

Local fan account Barstool Philly reacted to the news in an Instagram post, writing “CAN’T WAIT.” None other than Simmons himself fired back at Barstool Philly by commenting on the post with the message, “Likewise.”

The former No. 1 pick Simmons should get a reception on par with LeBron James’ return to Cleveland in 2010 and Vince Carter’s return to Toronto in 2006. Philadelphia despises Simmons for the way that he quit on their team, and they were already taking brutal shots at him before he even left.

Of course, the fans might actually be playing right into Simmons’ hands. It appears that Simmons actually wants to get booed for an interesting reason.

Photo: May 13, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) warms up prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons hoping to be booed in Philly to aid grievance case?

Ben Simmons with a shirt on

The Brooklyn Nets are set to visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, and Ben Simmons is expected to attend the game. That is a major development considering Simmons refused to play for the Sixers all season and did not travel with the team.

Simmons was traded on Feb. 10 from Philly to Brooklyn for James Harden in a swap of unhappy players. Though Simmons has not yet begun to play in games for his new team, Nets coach Steve Nash confirmed Simmons would sit on the bench for Thursday’s big game.

That alone is a surprise. But there may be an ulterior motive at play.

Philly Voice’s Kyle Neubeck produced an extremely interest report on Tuesday. Neubeck says Simmons is expected to file a grievance against the Sixers in the coming days.

The grievance would be an attempt to recoup Simmons’ lost wages this season since the Sixers did not pay him while he refused to play for the team. Simmons has argued that he is unable to play for the team due to mental health issues.

According to Neubeck, Simmons’ representatives/team are expecting Simmons to receive boos and harsh treatment from Philly fans. Simmons’ reps plan to use the anticipated negative treatment he receives as evidence to aid their grievance. The thinking is that if Simmons receives poor treatment from the fans, that would validate Simmons’ mental health excuse.

If this is indeed the case, what if 76ers fans spread the word that they should ignore Simmons rather than boo him? That might go a long way towards helping the team save money and win a case. Neubeck says that the Sixers are believed to be in good position to win the grievance.

Jan 30, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) talks to fans before a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports