After a week on the West Coast, the 76ers will begin their longest remaining homestand when they host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
With the spread of coronavirus, these are not ordinary times. The teams will attempt to go about business as usual, but it will be difficult. The game will kick off a four-game homestand for a Sixers team that is 28-2 at the Wells Fargo Center.
After Saturday’s 118-114 loss in San Francisco to the Golden State Warriors, the Sixers had Sunday and Monday off before returning to practice on Tuesday. That practice marked the return of Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson. Embiid, who has missed the past five games with a left shoulder sprain, is questionable for Wednesday’s game. Richardson, sidelined the last three with a nose contusion and concussion, is available to return to action.
The concussion was the first of Richardson’s career and something that was both debilitating and scary.
You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @SJnard. Thank you for reading.
— Marc Narducci (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Richardson was literally in a dark place after suffering a nose contusion and concussion during the Sixers’ 136-130 loss to the host Los Angeles Clippers on March 1. He suffered the injuries when teammate Alec Burks bumped his head into Richardson’s face.
“It’s been weird. I have never had a concussion before,” Richardson said after Tuesday’s practice. “I didn’t know how to approach it.”
He soon found out.
“I was in a dark room for a few days, couldn’t go to games,” he said. “I was trying to keep the sensory stuff [together] and figure it out.”
Richardson continued to travel with the team and attended Saturday’s game at Golden State. While the Sixers played the Lakers eight days ago, Richardson sat in a dark room, mainly resting.
“It was super boring,” said Richardson, who is averaging 13.9 points.
There was nothing he could do.
“I tried to sleep all the time,” he said. “I couldn’t go to the team meetings. You are not supposed to read. I had a book with me but couldn’t read it.”
That was his ordeal for “two to three solid days. It was tough.”
Asked how frustrating it was to deal with it, he said, “I told myself not to trip and it’s a long season; we have  regular-season games and some opportunities."
On this day in NBA history, March 11, 1965, Boston’s Bill Russell grabbed 49 rebounds, tied for the third-highest total in NBA history, in a 112-100 win over Detroit at Providence. Russell also scored 27 points, had six assists and played 48 minutes.
This wasn’t even Russell’s highest rebounding game. Here are the top single-game rebounding totals in NBA history, according to Basketball-reference.com.
1. Wilt Chamberlain, 55, Nov. 24, 1960
2. Bill Russell, 51, Feb. 5, 1960
3. Russell, 49, March 11, 1965
4. Russell, 49, Nov. 16, 1957
Chamberlain and Russell own the top 14 single-game rebounding totals of all time and 20 of the top 21.
To show how hard it is to get 49 or more rebounds in a game, this season through Monday, only one team averaged more rebounds: Milwaukee (51.7).
Tonight: Detroit Pistons at Sixers, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Saturday: Indiana Pacers at Sixers, 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Monday: Washington Wizards at Sixers, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
March 18: Toronto Raptors at Sixers, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
March 19: Sixers at Charlotte Hornets, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Question/comment: This offseason, Sixers better use JRich [Richardson] and Al [Horford] as trade pieces for some insane deal. JRich is too injury prone and Al doesnt mesh with Joel. — &rmk__1 via Twitter
Answer: Thanks for the comment. It would have to be insane for a team to take Horford off the Sixers’ hands. I can’t think of any team that would do that, especially with the way he has struggled this year.
Horford signed a four-year, $97 million deal and will begin next season at 34 years old with three seasons left on that bloated contract. If the Sixers did trade him, they would no doubt have to either give up draft picks and/or young players such as Matisse Thybulle, but would also have to take back a bad salary.