The Sixers’ newest addition, Marco Belinelli, will be at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night when the team hosts the Knicks. It’s just not yet certain if Belinelli will be available to play.
Belinelli, whose contract was bought out by the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, is expected to finish paperwork and clear waivers at 5 p.m., and the Sixers would prefer that he get some warmup time before throwing him to the wolves with his new teammates.
Whether he joins the team Monday or waits until Wednesday to make his Sixers debut is not a big deal. The key is that he is in Philadelphia and ready to go.
Robert Covington is excited to have Belinelli join the fray. After the Sixers’ morning shootaround Monday, Covington said that adding Belinelli to the reserve unit creates a depth that the Sixers need, like having another JJ Redick to help space the floor.
“[Defenses] can’t really sit back and sag the way a lot of teams do at times,” Covington said. “Now, with Marco, he’s going to space the floor. It’s just like another JJ.”
Despite having just 29 games left in the season, Covington said, the Sixers aren’t worried about creating chemistry with their newest teammate.
“He’s going to come in and see what we’re doing, and he already wants to be a part of it,” Covington said. “He’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure he does the right things, and Coach is going to do a good job of incorporating him into the offense.”
Joel Embiid ready for action
It looks as if there won’t be anything holding Embiid back against the Knicks.
The 7-foot-2 center was questionable entering Friday’s game against the Pelicans because of a sore ankle. But he played and said that everything was fine. Then he took a spill Saturday against the Clippers, hitting his knee on the court. Again, Embiid said that it was nothing to worry about.
He seems to have been right, as he hasn’t been listed on any injury list entering Monday’s matchup.