By Dylan MacKinnon
The Sixers face the Pistons today in the final chance to improve their seeding. If the Sixers win, and the Celtics lose, they can move into the 3 seed. In that case, they would face the Bulls in Round 1 of the playoffs. But if the Sixers lose, or the Celtics beat the Grizzlies, the Sixers will be in the 4 seed. They would then play the Raptors in Round 1.
As we all know by now, a series vs the Raptors would create issues for the Sixers. Matisse Thybulle is unvaccinated, and therefore ineligible to travel to Canada. Meaning if the Sixers have to play the Raptors they will be without him for any road game. They lost on the road to Toronto this past Thursday without Thybulle. The Raptors beat the Sixers in 3 out of the 4 games this season. In comparison, the Sixers swept the Bulls this season.
The last time the Sixers played the Pistons they lost. It was a 102-94 final. The Sixers starters outscored the Pistons starters 86-63. Only two Pistons starters even scored in double digits, Saddiq Bey and Cade Cunningham. Embiid had 37pts and 15rebs. But their bench was outscored 39-8.
Georges Niang (Knee) is questionable to play tonight. He missed yesterday’s game, but Doc said if it were a playoff game Niang could have suited up. For the Pistons Jerami Grant (Calf), Marvin Bagley (Hip), and Cory Joseph (Back) are out. Cade Cunningham is questionable with a hip injury. it is the same injury that made him questionable for Friday’s game vs the Bucks, but he did play in that game, albeit he didn’t look like himself.
There is of course a chance the Sixers could sit their starters. When asked if that was a possibility yesterday, Doc Rivers was noncommittal one way or the other.
Tonight’s game tips at 7 pm, but our coverage begins at 6:50 with Devon Givens and the Pre-Game Show. Tom McGinnis is on the call. This is their final game before the playoffs. After tonight they will be off until at least the weekend. With there being a home Flyers game next Sunday at 5pm, it will likely be a Saturday game to begin the playoffs for the Sixers.