Sixers guard Ben Simmons missed his fourth straight game today with flu-like symptoms, but he’s showing signs of recovery, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Coach Doc Rivers provided an update this afternoon, though he’s not sure when Simmons might be healthy enough to start playing again.
“I talked to Ben (Friday) and this morning,” Rivers said. “All I ask is how he’s feeling. I didn’t ask like, ‘Hey, how are you feeling? You know, when are you coming back?’ I don’t typically do that. I’ve always learned they’ll tell us, the trainers will tell us. And then the players will tell us.”
Rivers added that Simmons’ illness isn’t related to COVID-19, and blood work has indicated that he’s suffering from the flu.
There’s more on the Sixers:
- Rookie power forward Paul Reed missed today’s game after being placed in the league’s health and safety protocols, Pompey adds. Rivers declined to provide any more details, but said he’s not concerned that other players might be at risk of catching the virus. “If it was (contagious), then the team would be in protocol,” he said. “So the NBA always does the contact tracing and all that stuff, and we’re good there.”
- Dwight Howard picked up his 15th technical foul of the season today, meaning one more will result in an automatic one-game suspension. Rivers questioned the technical, saying Howard was singled out because of his history with officials, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic. “I thought Dwight’s tech was pure reputation,” Rivers told reporters. “… There is not another player on the floor, in my opinion, that would have gotten a tech for the same thing Dwight did. Not one player would have gotten that tech.”
- Tobias Harris has registered the second-highest jump in efficiency in the NBA this season, and Louis Zatzman of FiveThirtyEight contends that the roster changes the Sixers made helped Harris refine his game.