Jimmy Butler (wrist) will not play vs. Rockets
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown announced that star forward Jimmy Butler would not play against the Houston Rockets on the NBA’s loaded Martin Luther King Jr. Day schedule due to a wrist injury.
Jimmy Butler is out with sprained right wrist
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) January 21, 2019
For Philadelphia, this is discouraging, as they looked to bounce back from a loss on Saturday that came at the hands of Paul George’s late game heroics. Jimmy Butler, one of the better perimeter defenders in the league, is exactly the player they would like to see suiting up as they face James Harden, who has been having a historically great offensive season.
The news should give the Rockets a little extra hope, as they look to continue pilling up wins despite Chris Paul and Clint Capela both out with injury. Houston needs any help they can get, coming off of back-to-back overtime games.
Over the last three games Houston has played, James Harden has put up a total of 167 and extended his streak of games scoring 30 or more points to 19 games. With Butler out, Harden has an increased chance of keeping that streak alive.
Thankfully for Philadelphia, the absence of Clint Capela opens opportunity for a big game from Joel Embiid. As of Sunday afternoon, Embiid is listed as questionable for the game against Houston, but with Butler out, there is a greater likelihood of him suiting up.
Embiid has been playing fantastic all season. Over his last five games, his is averaging 29 points, 11.2 rebounds, four assists, 2.8 blocks, and 1.6 3’s. With only Nene Hilario available for the Rockets in terms of players with comparable size to guard him, even an Embiid that isn’t entirely healthy could give Houston some trouble.