Sixers Notes: Updates on Hill and Embiid
The Sixers return to the hardwood tomorrow night in Denver against the Nuggets and while they won't have the services of Joel Embiid and new guard George Hill, the team provided updates on both players.
While Embiid's bone bruise in his knee is progressing well, the team gave no timetable on when he might be ready to return to the court. Embiid has been out of the Sixers lineup since March 12, but has been working out and resumed on-court activities.
On Monday, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said its likely that Embiid will not return until after the road trip.
The Sixers did move backup center Tony Bradley in the deal to acquire Hill, meaning they must feel pretty confident in Embiid's ability to return to the lineup. Bradley had been playing well in place of Embiid, and without him, the Sixers turned to veteran Mike Scott in the starting lineup on Saturday night.
The team can continue to roll with a mix of Scott, Dwight Howard and rookie Paul Reed, who has seen some playing time recently named the G-League Most Valuable Player.
Hill, who the team acquired at the trade deadline, has been out thanks to thumb injury in early February that required surgery. He recently had his cast removed and the veteran guard is also set to resume on-court basketball activities in the coming days.
On Monday Rivers said that Hill should be ready to join the tram when they return from this road trip.
When Hill does arrive, expect him to run the Sixers second unit, with Shake Milton moving to more of an off-the-ball guard role. Hill is a combo-guard who is a solid defender, has the ability to shoot the three and gives the team a veteran ball handler to take some pressure off of Ben Simmons in certain situations.
Hill last appeared in a game back on January 24, scoring 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting with three 3-pointers, two assists, two steals and zero turnovers in 28 minutes. On the season, Hill is averaging 11.0 points, 2.2 boards, 3.2 assists, shooting 38.6% from 3-point range.
With Embiid out, the Sixers have been able to maintain the top spot in the Eastern Conference, holding on to a one game advantage over the Brooklyn Nets and a 2.5 game lead over Milwaukee.
Both the Nets and Bucks have added pieces to their playoff puzzles, while the Sixers landed Hill, getting Embiid back is obviously paramount to any deep Sixers run.
Kicking the tires
The team kicked the tires on veteran big man Gorgui Dieng, who has appeared in 22 games this season with Memphis. However, Dieng ended up signing with Spurs.
Dieng would have give the Sixers more size behind Embiid and Howard, averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per night for the Grizzlies.
The Sixers return to action Tuesday night at 9pm on 97.3 ESPN, South Jersey's Sixers station.
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