Before every post-practice media session, the 76ers send a public relations official to give the team injury report. The fact that Monday’s session consisted of four words -- “no injuries to report” -- shows that the Sixers are in good physical shape heading into Wednesday’s season opener against the visiting Boston Celtics.
That means point guard Ben Simmons, who missed the last two preseason games with lower back tightness, will be available as expected.
“I am ready to go,” Simmons said following Monday’s practice.
It must be noted that there was next to no suspense in Simmons returning for the opener. Had Friday’s preseason finale been a regular-season game, Simmons would have been able to go.
Reserve point guard Raul Neto, who missed Friday’s preseason game with tightness in his left hamstring, also is ready for the opener.
“I am good, I am a lot better,” Neto said. “It was more a precaution with my history of hamstring injuries, but I am good."
One of the key training camp stories revolved around the backup point guard situation.
Former Utah Jazz teammates Neto and Trey Burke were considered the preseason front-runners, but starting shooting guard Josh Richardson has been so impressive that he could earn minutes there.
Neto, for one, thinks his role is fluid.
“I think it is going to change,” he said. “It is not going to be one role the whole season. It’s a long season and there are games we will all need other guys. There are games they are going to need me. That is what I am feeling it is going to be like."
It appears Brown has made up his mind about the backup point guard, but he’d rather not announce it at this time. Over the last week or so, Brown has been effusive in his praise of Richardson’s work at point guard.
“In my mind, I am going through it and I feel comfortable with what I am going to do,” Brown said. “Declaring what it is, I won’t, but I am thinking that we are in a pretty good place, and studied it a lot.”
And, at least for now, the Sixers are in a good place concerning injuries.