From Zach Braziller:
Austin Rivers talked a big game about playing for his father’s former team, saying he wanted to be part of something special and make the franchise “great again.”
Unfortunately for the combo guard, he has so far been very limited in that endeavor, and seems likely to miss the early part of the season with a right groin injury.
On Monday, coach Tom Thibodeau said the 28-year-old Rivers, whose father Doc is now coaching the 76ers, still has yet to return to practice, an ominous sign with the season set to begin Wednesday in Indiana against the Pacers. He missed all four preseason games and was hurt early on in training camp.
“The groin thing is still bothering him,” Thibodeau said.
There was some good injury news, though. Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. (left quad) and Frank Ntilikina (left Achilles), along with center Nerlens Noel (left knee), have returned from minor injuries. Forward Omari Spellman (right knee) is still out.
Thibodeau wouldn’t reveal his opening night starting lineup, but he did say that “we have a pretty good idea” who they will be, and what the rotation will look like.
“But that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone,” he said. “Obviously over the course of a season you need everyone, and particularly this year under these circumstances, quality depth is important and I feel that we have that.”
Julius Randle and RJ Barrett appear locks to start, and Elfrid Payton seems like a smart bet at the point despite rookie Immanuel Quickley’s impressive preseason. The other two spots remain uncertain.
I’m not much of an Austin Rivers admirer, but it’s still frustrating that this injury has lagged for so long.
Isn’t it weird that they’re, like, “Who will start at the 2?” Isn’t it clearly going to be Burks? Mitch should be a lock, too, but who the fuck knows with this team.
As part of our all-poll content, let’s everyone vote on who you think will be the starters alongside RJ and Randle on Wednesday night.