On Saturday night, Ben Simmons reaggravated his back injury suffered during All-Star weekend, but what does that mean for the 76ers’ goal to rise in the standings?
Short answer, not much. According to multiple reports, Ben Simmons is expected to be re-evaluated in two weeks. In those two weeks, the Sixers play the Cavaliers, Knicks, Clippers, Lakers, Kings, and Warriors. Even with Ben Simmons, the 76ers are not as good as either the Clippers or Lakers. The Lakers have the best duo in the entire NBA, and the Clippers may be the deepest team in the league. The 76ers are a dysfunctional team with a good starting five and an inconsistent bench, yet, even without Ben Simmons, they are better than the Cavaliers, Knicks, Kings, and Warriors.
Now, if he is out longer than two weeks, the Sixers are still fine! They only have two “difficult” games until March 31st, and those are against the Pacers and Raptors. But, those are both at home, and we all know how great the 76ers are at home. If you don’t, they are the best team in the entire NBA at home, with a record of 27-2! I think until March 31st, where they play the Houston Rockets at home, the Sixers should be fine, losing a maximum of four games.
Also, Joel Embiid has been on a tear since the All-Star Weekend, averaging 35 points and 14 rebounds per game! Two of these games were without Ben Simmons. With Simmons healthy, Joel Embiid scored just 17 points and 11 rebounds on terrible efficiency. This is a common theme I have seen and discussed. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are better by themselves! So I don’t think Embiid will have a problem these next two weeks or so leading the team by himself. I thought the same when he was injured. Ben Simmons was able to lead the team by himself two years ago, and did it again.
All in all, if you are a Sixers fan, don’t worry. The Sixers have the 2nd easiest schedule for the remainder of the season, only slightly behind the Atlanta Hawks. Embiid is the best center in the league in my eyes, and has been more confident than he ever has been, and that says a lot. If Simmons is out for the next month, the Sixers will be fine. Just hope for a full recovery for the 6’10” point guard. Get well soon Simmons!