Sixers Notes: Lowry, Batum, Melton, Embiid, Covington

Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry wasn’t hoping to play for the Sixers earlier in his career, but he feels ready now, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Lowry, who had his first practice with his new team on Wednesday and is expected to be ready for Thursday’s game, explained why he didn’t try to join the Sixers before now.

“You never want to play at home because there’s so much going on. It’s a hard place to play when you go back home,” Lowry said. “But at the end of the day, it’s a dream come true, because I’m actually being able to play in front of my friends and family and people I cheered [for] as a Sixers fan growing up. Now, I’m prepared to do it. When you’re younger, you’re not really prepared to do it. But at this in my time in my career, I’m prepared to do it.”

Coach Nick Nurse told Bontemps that Lowry looked sharp at practice and is already familiar with much of the system after their time together in Toronto. The 37-year-old point guard said he understands his duties, which are to get the most out of Tyrese Maxey and provide some veteran wisdom as the team prepares for the playoffs.

“My job is to do everything I can to make this team and this organization better,” Lowry stated. “No matter what the role is, what the minutes are, what the situation is. My job is to be a professional and help Tyrese get better, help this team get better, help coach get better and help everybody get better.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers’ injury situation appears to be improving, Bontemps adds. Nicolas Batum, who has been sidelined since last month with a strained left hamstring, is listed as questionable for Thursday, and De’Anthony Melton, who’s dealing with a back issue, is expected to return soon. “There were two or three starters, sometimes four starters, not playing, so we certainly need some of those starting guys back,” Nurse said.
  • The team remains optimistic that Joel Embiid will be able to return from his meniscus injury before the end of the regular season, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said on NBA Today (Twitter link from Philly Sixers Galaxy). “They don’t want to put any time frame on it until he starts ramping up,” Shelburne said, “but I’m told he went to practice [yesterday], he got there early to see how everything was in the morning … his enthusiasm is there.”
  • Robert Covington hopes to be able to increase his on-court activities during the next two to three weeks, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He’s suffering from a bone bruise in his left knee and will be reevaluated in 10-to-14 days, Pompey adds.
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