Doc Rivers explains why Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons are out vs. Nuggets

Ky Carlin
·2 min read

In what was already being shaped up to be a bizarre day for the Philadelphia 76ers after forcing to be quarantined in New York following the positive COVID test of Seth Curry, the Sixers had just enough players ready to go against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday to avoid postponement. They had nine players available with the league minimum being eight.

Then, they apparently didn’t have enough.

Superstars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have both been listed as out for Saturday afternoon’s contest with the Denver Nuggets as the teams get set to take the floor. Their reasoning for being out has nothing to do with COVID.

“Yeah, but it has nothing to do with it, they’re just not playing,” said coach Doc Rivers. “Ben, in the Brooklyn game, had some knee stiffness and we probably already knew after the game that he wouldn’t play tonight. Joel started complaining about his back starting yesterday, we didn’t know if he was playing or not.”

“Honestly, with the minutes we would have to ask, it would be insane to play them tonight,” Rivers added.

That would put the team below the league minimum of eight at just seven. Rivers did reveal pregame that Mike Scott would be available if only to avoid a postponement.

“I think we have eight active players,” said Rivers. “One that’s been injured Mike Scott and I can tell you now there’s no way I’m going to play him. I just don’t think he should play. You can make a case that we have seven bodies to throw out.”

The Sixers had a walkthrough Saturday morning, but Rivers was not able to be a part of that walkthrough due to being on the phone with the league.

“We had a walkthrough that I wasn’t a part of because I was on a call with the league and stuff,” he added. “So, I have a list here that I’ve not even looked at of players. We’re gonna throw them together, Dwight Howard’s gonna play point guard, and we’re gonna see how it goes.”

Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m. EST at the Wells Fargo Center.

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