Wilson Chandler might make Sixers debut vs. Pistons
Brett Brown said he hopes to see Chandler back on the floor Saturday night.
Wilson Chandler might finally make his 76ers debut Saturday.
The Sixers small forward, acquired in an offseason trade, was a full participant at practice Friday and is listed as questionable for Saturday's home game against the Detroit Pistons, though head coach Brett Brown sounded a little more optimistic.
"I listen to him, he feels good, he's put in the work, and I hope that we can see him tomorrow," Brown said after practice.
Chandler played a little less than three minutes in the team's preseason exhibition opener against Melbourne United before he suffered a strained left hamstring that has kept him sidelined.
In the name of preservation, the team has not wanted to rush Chandler back, hoping that when he does return, there won't be any lingering effects of the injury. Originally, the 10-year veteran small forward had been eyeing a return at Charlotte on Oct. 27, but sat out that game and the following games against the Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, and Los Angeles Clippers.
"We've gone sort of above and beyond the call of duty with stuff he does behind the scenes with his cardio and scripting and playing and hitting," Brown said.
Chandler, who has career averages of 13.5 points and 5.4 rebounds, will back up Robert Covington on the wing and will no doubt eat into minutes that have been given to rookie Landry Shamet.
Through the first nine games, Shamet has been a welcomed surprise for the Sixers despite his inexperience. In the last three games, he is averaging 21.5 minutes and 11.3 points and has had three double-digit scoring nights this season.
Brown said that Shamet, in his short time with the team, has performed like a player who is older than his 21 years would indicate.
"Landry has gained popularity with me because he guards and he's smart and now he's making shots," Brown said. "Now, [Chandler] is coming back into the mix and what's that do? Minutes are taken now from the wing spot."
In addition to being a reserve wing, the 6-foot-8 Chandler will have the chance to play some backup minutes at the four spot, giving Brown more flexibility with the rotation.
Saturday's game against Detroit will be the first night of a back-to-back, with the Sixers playing in Brooklyn on Sunday. It will be the Sixers' third set of back-to-back games already this season, with three more sets coming before the new year.