Five things to know about the 76ers today
1. Sixers coach Brett Brown plans to use Ben Simmons at point guard when he returns from his foot injury.In an update after today's practice, Brown said he expects Simmons to also play defense against points. Playing Simmons at the point makes sense since he is by far the best playmaker on the team. Keith Pompey has more on that here.
2. Following Wednesday's postponed game with Sacramento, the Sixers will return to play back-to-backs at home Friday with Orlando and Saturday with Boston. It's the beginning of four games in five days, with Monday at home against Denver and then Tuesday in Memphis, where the Sixers will look to snap a 22-game road losing streak.
3. Brown announced that Joel Embiid will now be able to play 28 minutes a game. Embiid is averaging 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in just 22.8 minutes per game. Those are astonishing numbers for playing less than half a game. It is still early, but with more time, one has to wonder if that will enhance Embiid's chances to make the all-star team.
4. By comparison to Embiid, Jahlil Okafor is averaging 10.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in 21.1 minutes. Okafor and Embiid were supposed to play together against the tall Sacramento lineup. There is plenty of skepticism about whether this combination will work due to court spacing, but the Sixers have to at least give it a try. What do they have to lose?
5. Surprising stat - the Sixers are seventh in the NBA in three-point shooting (.366). Of course helping that figure is that noted three-point shooting threat Embiid, who remains at 50 percent (15 for 30). The stat that has hurt the Sixers more than any is turnovers. They are last in the NBA in that department, averaging 17 per game.