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Andre Drummond’s injury status upgraded to questionable for Sixers-Knicks

Drummond, who sat out of Philly's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a sprained ankle, could still play in New York.

Sixers center Andre Drummond reaches for the basketball against the Detroit Pistons in a preseason game on Friday, October 15, 2021 in Detroit.
Sixers center Andre Drummond reaches for the basketball against the Detroit Pistons in a preseason game on Friday, October 15, 2021 in Detroit.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

After missing Sunday’s 115-103 win at Oklahoma City, 76ers backup center Andre Drummond (sprained ankle) is listed as questionable to play Tuesday against the New York Knicks on the team’s Monday injury report.

During Sunday’s game against the Thunder, Drummond — who was originally listed as doubtful to play and then ruled out — was wearing regular sneakers with his street clothes and walking gingerly.

Drummond was productive in his first two games as a Sixer. He led the team in rebounds against New Orleans (17) and Brooklyn (10), while totaling at least 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in each game. Coach Doc Rivers and teammates have praised Drummond’s combination of size, athleticism, and skill to rebound, roll to the basket, and be a playmaker for others.

» READ MORE: The Sixers have won 15 straight games the Knicks. Will their dominance continue without Ben Simmons?

Without Drummond, Georges Niang was the first front-court player off the bench Sunday night, replacing star Joel Embiid when he needed to exit to change his bloodied tights after tumbling into the courtside seats while going after a loose ball. But Niang primarily played power forward with the second unit, and Paul Reed (2 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block) stepped into the rotation at center.

For the third consecutive game, Embiid is listed as questionable to play Tuesday with right knee soreness. He played against the Nets and Thunder after going through his pregame routine.

Reserve guard Shake Milton (sprained ankle), two-way guard Grant Riller (knee surgery) and All-Star guard Ben Simmons (personal reasons) all remain out. Rookies Jaden Springer and Aaron Henry are on assignment with the G League’s Delaware Blue Coats.

Green shakes off misses

Danny Green drew a slew of grumbles from the home crowd during the Sixers’ late collapse against the Nets Friday night, when he air-balled three three-point attempts in less than two minutes of game time of the 114-109 loss.

The 34-year-old wing said he immediately forgot about those misfires. So, making his first two shots from beyond the arc against the Thunder, then another that put the Sixers up 10 in the third quarter, did not cause Green to sigh in relief.

“It’s always good to see something go in,” he said. “But at this stage of my career, shots are shots. They don’t really faze me or make a big impact on my feelings whether they go out or go in.”

Green acknowledges it took “years” for him to achieve that mentality. Playing in San Antonio’s “beautiful game” system predicated on ball movement to generate open shots helped. So did shooting more than 3,600 three-pointers — and connecting on more than 40% of them — throughout his 13-year NBA career.

» READ MORE: Doc Rivers not concerned about Sixers star Joel Embiid’s latest ailment

Green is again hovering around that percentage in a very small sample size to start the 2020-21 season. After missing five of his first seven attempts from long range, he is now 5-of-12.

“You could go 1-for-9 and that last shot could be a game-changer,” Green said. “It could help you win the game. But if you’re thinking of and focusing on that last shot, you might not be able to step up to the plate and make the big one. ...

“At the end of the day, it’s being an adult. It’s basketball. I’m hard on myself. We’re the biggest critics of ourselves. We want to do better. We want to be perfect. We want to make shots. We want to achieve the most. But at the end of the day, it’s a basketball game and there’s a lot bigger things to life and [tougher] things going on.

“Missing a shot is not the end of the world, and if you look at it in that perspective, it makes it a little easier to go home and sleep at night.”

Last week also was not the worst fan reaction Green has ever received for missing an important three-pointer. He said he and his fiancee got death threats when he misfired on a wide-open, game-winning attempt in Game 5 of the 2020 NBA Finals that would have clinched the championship for the Los Angeles Lakers. But his team bounced back from the missed opportunity and comfortably won Game 6 over the Miami Heat.