Written by Sam Cohn
CAMDEN, NJ — The Philadelphia 76ers (19-9) came off a 116-102 victory over the Detroit Pistons (13-12) on Monday night in a game that showcased the potential skill level off the bench for this Philly squad.
Late in the first quarter, Jimmy Butler headed to the locker room and was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a groin strain. It is unclear the specific play that caused the injury.
“What we can say, is that the MRI revealed nothing significant but we deem him to be doubtful for tomorrow night,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said.
Philadelphia will enter Game two of its three game home stint and will host the Brooklyn Nets (10-18) on Wednesday night. Likely playing without a top-3 player on the team, the Sixers will look to get more productivity from their bench.
“You can look at last night as a snapshot of what I expect to happen with Furkan [Korkmaz] getting more minutes, with Landry [Shamet] getting more minutes, the belief that T.J. [McConnell] can come in and… [get] more minutes,” mentioned Brown.
In the win over the Pistons, McConnell finished with 14 points and 6 assists, Shamet added 10 points and 3 boards, and Furkan put up 18 points while grabbing 7 rebounds. These kinds of numbers will be crucial as the season progresses and guys start to need a lighter load on the floor.
Philadelphia’s coaching staff is looking for a broader rotation and continued success from its young guys moving forward.
The 76ers are 10-3 since acquiring Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a trade that sent fan favorites Dario Saric and Robert Covington to the Western Conference. They have clearly shown they can be a contender in the Eastern Conference but a lack of consistent depth may hurt them come playoff time.
When asked if this year’s team had more depth than last year’s, Brown replied, “No,” with conviction and little hesitation. He feels confident in the progression of his bench but understands the team has areas to improve upon as a whole.
The 76ers remain the three-seed in the east, just two games behind the first-place Toronto Raptors and will try to string together a win or two before star guard Jimmy Butler is expected to play again.
Photo by Justin Oakes