On paper, things are about to get rough for Richaun Holmes.
The 6-foot-10, 245-pounder will be the only available center on the 76ers roster for Tuesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. He'll have the tough task of trying to contain Memphis' two-time all-star Marc Gasol.
Joel Embiid will miss the game to rest since he doesn't play both games of back-to-back situations. Reserve center Jahlil Okafor did not make the trip because he has gastroenteritis, the team said. Another reserve center, Nerlens Noel, also did not make trip. He has yet to play this season because of inflamed tissue in his left knee.
Embiid, Okafor, and Noel are regarded as the top three centers on the roster. Holmes was looked upon as a seldom-used fourth-stringer heading into training camp.
Now he's slated to make his second start of the season.
"Isn't it funny how life changes?" Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "First you have too many bigs. Now you don't have any."
But at least one of Holmes' teammates isn't the least bit concerned.
"I think Richaun is having a hell of a year this season," Nik Stauskas said. "Sometimes it's unfortunate that we are so loaded at that position, because sometimes he needs to take a step back and sometimes he doesn't get the chance that he may deserve."
Holmes was averaging 6.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 15.4 minutes in 16 appearances before Monday night's contest against the Denver Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center. A case could have been made that he deserved more playing time. He had a season-high 13 points against the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 25.
"I have full confidence that he's going to be playing his best basketball this trip and he's going to get plenty of opportunities," Stauskas said. "So I'm excited for him."
The Sixers will have only nine available players against the Grizzlies.