Because so many Sixers players are absent as a result of the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, the team is currently relying on its rookies, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
Seth Curry is quarantining away from the team after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, and Vincent Poirier are all out due to the league’s health and safety protocols. With those veterans missing, rookies Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe, and Dakota Mathias have all logged significant rotation minutes.
Though All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons returned to action tonight in the Sixers’ hard-fought 137-134 victory tonight against the Heat, wings Furkan Korkmaz and Terrance Ferguson also remained absent. Embiid scored 45 points and pulled down 16 boards.
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Because the Celtics have limited wing depth, second-year swingman Romeo Langford may still break into Boston’s rotation this season, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston writes. Forsberg notes that Langford is a solid perimeter defend, but must develop his long-range shooting to become a staple.
- Though the Raptors are currently the No. 13 seed in the East with a disappointing 2-8 record, newly re-signed 6’1″ guard Fred VanVleet continues to contribute to the level of his $85MM contract, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. VanVleet has been the club’s most steady offensive presence, averaging a career-high 20.9 PPG through his first 10 games. “I think the game is just really slow for him right now and that’s a good thing,” fellow starting guard Kyle Lowry said. VanVleet is also averaging a career-high 9.0 three-point attempts per night.
- Former Kings amateur scouting director Gene Cross has been added to the Knicks as a college scout, Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated tweets.