Now it makes sense why the 76ers were prepared to express interest in signing NBA veteran Andrew Bogut.
All-Star center Joel Embiid will miss his sixth consecutive game with tendinitis in his left knee when the Sixers host the Orlando Magic on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center. Boban Marjanovic, Embiid’s backup, will be sidelined for the third consecutive game with a bone bruise and mild sprain to his right knee. Meanwhile, reserve centers Jonah Bolden (sinus infection) and Amir Johnson (upper-back tightness) are listed as questionable. As a result, Justin Patton, who was called up from the Delaware Blue Coats last Wednesday, is the only healthy center on the roster.
Embiid said on Saturday that he expects to return before next week. But if Marjanovic is unable to return soon, the Sixers will most likely look into adding a backup center.
They’ll just have to take Bogut off their potential wish list.
The Golden State Warriors intend to sign the 34-year-old Australian for the remainder of the season once he gets a letter of clearance from the Sydney Kings, Yahoo! Sports reported Monday. The process of getting that letter from the team Bogut played for this season in Australia’s National Basketball League should take around 48 hours.
This will mark the second go-round with the Warriors for the player drafted first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005.
Meanwhile, the Sixers could be shorthanded at the position.
Bolden, Johnson, and Marjanovic did not practice Monday, while Embiid was rusty.
“He just doesn’t feel like he’s ready to go,” coach Brett Brown said of Embiid, who has been sidelined longer than expected. “He really does feel restricted with some of his movements, there’s a little bit of soreness, I think, still.”
He might also need to get back in game shape.
His last game action came during the Feb. 17 NBA All-Star Game. Monday marked his first practice since returning from the All-Star break.
“I can tell you what I saw today in practice, you can tell that he has not played basketball in a while,” Brown said.
As a result, Brown said he’ll be responsible while integrating him back.
Meanwhile, there was an initial thought that Marjanovic would be available to play Tuesday following his MRI and CAT scan on Feb. 26. Brown was asked Monday if the 7-foot-3, 290-pounder would be sidelined another week.
“I do not know the time frame on that,” Brown said. “I think ... it’s going be longer than we all wish.”
Marjanovic injured his knee on a defensive play with a little more than a minute left in the Feb. 25 win at New Orleans.
Intentionally missed free throw
Brown received a lot of criticism for his decision to have Ben Simmons intentionally miss a foul shot with 10.3 seconds left in Saturday’s 120-117 home loss to the Warriors.
Simmons made his first attempt to pull the Sixers within two points (119-117). Brown instructed him to purposely miss the second foul shot in hopes of getting the rebound, but the Warriors were awarded the ball because he failed to hit the rim.
The coach said he would continue to be aggressive in those types of situations.
“Is it reckless or is it a calculated risk, at times? It’s going to be a calculated risk,” he said. “So when I look on the floor and I have a 57 percent free-throw shooter with no timeouts. We don’t have Joel. It’s a stage of the game that I think we can steal something. They didn’t have DeMarcus [Cousins] on the floor. We subbed and brought Jonah Bolden on the floor.”
Cousins actually entered the game simultaneously. But Brown compared the play to trying an onside kick in football at the start of the second half.
“Maybe that works or it doesn’t,” he said. “So either you are a hero or a goat.”
Brown said he would not have called for a missed foul shot if he had a timeout and if JJ Redick (89.9 percent foul shooting) were on the line. But he would do it again under the same circumstances.
Brown hopes Harris stays with Sixers ‘a long time’
One would assume that unless things drastically change, Tobias Harris will re-sign with the Sixers this summer.
Brown raves about the player Harris is on the court and the person he is off it.
“I hope he’s a Philadelphia 76er for a long time,” the coach said.
Harris, who is in the final year of his contract, was asked if he felt the same way.
“Yeah, I like it here,” the power forward said. “It’s been a good start that we’ve been able to have, a good group of guys, and the team has a lot of potential.”
Harris went on say Brown has been great to him, allowing him to come in and play his game. The Sixers acquired Harris with Marjanovic and Mike Scott in a trade from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 7. Free agency will begin on July 1.
Simmons garners player of the week honors
Simmons was named the Eastern Conference player of the week on Monday. The second-year player averaged 16.7 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists to lead to the Sixers a 2-1 record last week. Simmons had triple-doubles in the last two games. On Thursday, he had 11 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks, two steals and four turnovers in a road victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Then he finished with 25 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals and nine turnovers in Saturday’s loss to Golden State.