The MVP Returns as the Sixers Host the Wolves
Joel Embiid is returning on Saturday night, as the Sixers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on their first game back from a six-game Western Conference road trip. The Process himself is looking to continue his MVP campaign -- before he missed time, the big man was averaging roughly 30 points, 11.5 total boards, 3 assists, a block and a half to go along with ludicrous shooting splits that nearly put him in the 50/40/90 club.
The Timberwolves play Friday against the Grizzlies, coming off a 102-101 win vs. The Knicks, where they shot just over 41% from the field and pulled it out in large part due to Malik Beasley's clutch three with under a minute to go. Doc Rivers' squad should be feeling the momentum of their complete effort against the Cavs on Thursday, and the day off with the addition of Embiid should only help them.
Josh Okogie is currently in COVID-19 Protocols and is questionable for Friday’s game against the Grizzlies.
D'Angelo Russell (knee) started to practice 5-on-5 this week, but coach Chris Finch doesn’t think Russell will return within the next week.
Joel Embiid (knee) is expected to return on Saturday against the wolves, per Shams Charania
George Hill (thumb) currently has no timetable to return, and updates on his status will be provided ‘when appropriate’
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not?
Anthony Edwards (🔥): The much-hyped number one overall pick started slowly, but over his past 5 games he’s averaging 23 points, 5.4 rebounds as well as 2 assists on 42/23/80 splits, as well as averaging 20 (!) Shot attempts per game.
Karl-Anthony Towns (🔥): Over the Past 12 games, the Kentucky big man is averaging 26.4 points, which coupled with his 10.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists, makes him a handful on the offensive end. During this 12 games stretch he’s sinking 42% of his over 7 three-point attempts per game, and over the past 5 contests he’s hitting almost 45% of his threes. The return of Embiid, with his agility on the perimeter, should be key to containing Towns.
Shake Milton (🔥): The Shake Shack is back in business, as over the last 7 games Milton is averaging a touch over 18 points on 50% shooting from the field as well as 44% from downtown, which is a good sign for the guard as he’s hit only 32.8% of his threes this year.
Danny Green (🔥): The veteran swingman has been on fire as of late, hitting 48% of his 8 attempts from three over the past 10.
Ben Simmons (🥶): The All-Star's impact goes beyond scoring, but there isn’t an excuse for averaging 9 points over the past two contests while making 33% of his field goals, attempting no threes, and not reaching 60% from the line either. His shot selection and aggression will determine whether he can snap out of it or fall further into the slump.
Ricky Rubio (🥶): The veteran is enduring a brutal slump, as in 27 minutes per game over the past 5, Rubio has made just 20% of his shots from the field and 15% of attempts from downtown.
Projected Starting Lineups
PG – Ben Simmons
SG – Seth Curry
SF – Danny Green
PF – Tobias Harris
C – Joel Embiid
PG – Ricky Rubio
SG – Malik Beasley
SF – Anthony Edwards
PF – Jaden McDaniels
C – Karl-Anthony Towns
Game Time: Saturday, April 3rd at 8pm ET
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia / MyTeam Sports App
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic