Sixers’ Ben Simmons, Blazers’ Damian Lillard to miss Thursday matchup
Thursday night’s matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Portland Trail Blazers was supposed to feature an individual battle against two of the top point guards in the NBA, Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard. Unfortunately, injuries have gotten in the way of Sixers-Blazers, as both players have been tagged as out for what could have been a marquee matchup.
This report before Sixers-Blazers comes via Tim Bontemps of ESPN:
In addition to Damian Lillard missing tonight's game, now Ben Simmons will sit with left calf tightness. Lot of star power not available tonight in Philly.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 4, 2021
Sixers fans probably know that Lillard has been dealing with an abdominal strain over the couple of games, which has now progressed to a level that will force the Blazers superstar to miss his first game of the season. Lillard is as durable as it comes and he’s been known to play through injuries in the past, so you know that this abdomen problem is no joke.
As for Simmons, the 24-year-old’s injury appears to be minor, and the fact that the Sixers are playing in the second night of a back-to-back set may have factored in on the team’s decision to give their All-Star point guard the night off.
This will be Simmons’ third missed game of the season for the Sixers after sitting out a couple of contests in January.
For Philly, this means that Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris will be handling much of the workload for the team sans Simmons. It is worth noting that Embiid is also dealing with a back issue for the Sixers, which forced him to miss Sunday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
Harris is expected to suit up for the shorthanded Sixers on Thursday, and fans are hoping that the heavy workload does not aggravate the back injury.