DENVER – The 76ers will be without their entire starting frontcourt against the second-best team in the Western Conference.
Saturday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center will mark the third consecutive game Jimmy Butler will miss with a sprained right wrist. The four-time all-star swingman was listed as doubtful on Friday.
He was in Los Angeles, where he lives in the offseason, visiting a wrist specialist. The specialist confirmed the sprain. Butler is expected to be with the team Saturday night for the contest with the Nuggets (32-15).
The Sixers are scheduled to travel to Los Angeles following the game for Tuesday’s contest with the Lakers.
“We’re all expecting him to play in Los Angeles,” coach Brett Brown said.
The Sixers had announced on Friday that two-time All-Star center Joel Embiid (rest) and power forward Wilson Chandler (left hamstring tightness) will miss the Nuggets' game. Embiid is dealing with back tightness.
Brown said he didn’t finalize his starting lineup for Saturday night’s matchup. But one can assume that Corey Brewer will make his third consecutive start in Butler’s absence.
This will mark the seventh game Butler will miss since being acquired in a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves in November. He missed two with a strained groin and two others with an upper respiratory infection.
Butler reported discomfort in his wrist on Jan. 19 after a 117-115 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. An MRI revealed that he had a sprain. The four-time NBA all-defensive second-team selection is the team’s second-leading scorer with an average of 19.6 points.
Embiid is second in the NBA with 41 double-doubles. He’s also sixth in the league in scoring (27.2 per game, which leads the Sixers), tied for third in rebounds (13.3), and seventh in blocks (1.96).