The Sixers continue to have their unlucky misfortunes with the injury bug. Joel Embiid seems to be close to fully healed from his hand injury, but now more Sixers’ players will be missing time.
In Saturday night’s primetime game against the Bucks, the Sixers lost a big key player. Ben Simmons re-aggravated his back just five minutes into the game, and was unable to return.
With home-court advantage in the playoffs still not locked in for the Sixers, losing star players right now isn’t exactly what they need. Right now the team sits a game and a half out of the fourth seed and four and a half games out of the third seed.
Simmons has been a key player for the Sixers all season. He almost never miss a game, and logs a lot of minutes on the floor every night. Can this team still compete if he has to be sidelined for an extended period?
Luckily for the Sixers, they have one of the easiest schedules in the league heading down the stretch. With that being said there are still guys on that team that have to step up if Simmons and Harris are to miss time. One player, in particular, comes right to mind.
Josh Richardson has been a nice addition to the Sixers this season. He has bought into the defensive brand this team built and has been a great partner to Ben Simmons in the backcourt. Sometimes it has seemed that he has had the same issue that Tobias Harris had last season when he joined the team in finding his spot in the offense on a nightly basis. But now this team needs him more than ever.
Richardson has had some big games on the year, and it’s time to put him in the driver’s seat for this upcoming stretch. Joel Embiid is going to need help keeping this team afloat while Simmons deals with this injury, and Richardson can be the perfect running mate.
We have seen what Richardson can do when given the opportunity. Whether it was earlier in the year when he went for 32 points against his former team the Miami Heat or just recently when he had a huge fourth quarter to secure a win against the LA Clippers.
MY GOODNESS JOSH RICHARDSON.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 24, 2019
He's now got 32 against his former team. pic.twitter.com/ciMSB8hVUr
This role will not be something new for Richardson as he was the main option for the Heat towards the end of his tenure there. But head coach Brett Brown has to put him in the position to maximize what he can do on the floor and keep this team in the mix.