KISSIMMEE, Fla. — As expected, the 76ers’ starting lineup will be intact for the start of the seeding games.
Joel Embiid is available to play in Saturday’s opener against the Indiana Pacers at the VISA Athletic Center. Embiid missed the final two of the Sixers’ three scrimmages with right calf tightness. Sixers coach Brett Brown, following Tuesday’s scrimmage against the Dallas Mavericks, said that he expected Embiid to play against the Pacers.
Reserve forward Glenn Robinson III (left hip pointer) is doubtful and reserve point guard Raul Neto (lower back tightness) is probable. Neto missed the final two scrimmages, while Robinson sat out the last one.
Embiid first experienced discomfort in his right calf during the July 24 scrimmage against the Memphis Grizzlies in which he played only 12 minutes, 57 seconds.
He averaged 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks while playing in just 44 of the Sixers’ 65 games before the NBA shutdown in March. Embiid missed nine games with a torn ligament in his right hand, and was sidelined for five more with a left shoulder sprain.
Robinson collided with an opponent in the second quarter of Sunday’s exhibition loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. After landing on his back, he got up and played a couple of minutes before going to the locker room. He did not return after a halftime evaluation.
Neto felt discomfort in his lower back during pregame warmups before being held out Sunday.
More talk about the Sixers’ chemistry
The Sixers’ chemistry continues to be a hot topic during their media Zoom calls.
On Friday, Ben Simmons said everyone has the same mindset: The goal is to win.
“No one is coming in here wanting to leave or with a bad attitude,” the power forward said of being in the Walt Disney World bubble. “Once everyone has that same mindset, which everyone does now, it’s so much easier to have that chemistry and to build on the floor, that translates.”
Simmons said the players are ready, mentally prepared, and will sacrifice whatever is needed to win a game.
“So I think this is the best the team has been since we have been together, collectively. The chemistry is much better than probably early on in the season and midway.”
Back then, the squad had chemistry issues. The Sixers believe team Zoom meetings during the shutdown and hanging out together inside the bubble since early July has improved their chemistry.