Hill cleared to play, but Sixers down 2 starters vs. Warriors


George Hill was officially deemed available to make his long-anticipated Sixers debut approximately 30 minutes before the team’s game Monday night against the Warriors. 

However, the news on the injury front wasn’t all positive for the Sixers. 

Tobias Harris (right knee soreness) and Ben Simmons (illness) were each ruled out for Monday’s game. Furkan Korkmaz and Mike Scott replaced them in the starting lineup. 

Dwight Howard and Seth Curry were available to play after being sidelined for the Sixers’ win Friday over the Clippers with left knee soreness and left hip flexor tightness, respectively. 

The 34-year-old Hill had surgery on Feb. 4 to repair a mallet injury in his right thumb. His last game before Monday was Jan. 24. 

“I love him with our team,” head coach Doc Rivers said pregame. “I’m not excited yet. I just think it’s going to take him some time. We’re not going to play him a lot of minutes in a row right now. We’re just going to try to ease him in. In another week or so — if nothing happens, obviously — then I think we will be excited. We can see what we can do. But I don’t expect a lot right now out of him except for another veteran on the floor, another guy that can make shots on the floor, and that helps our team.”

On paper, Hill has the ability to help the Sixers as a solid defender, a good outside shooter and a ball handler who’s historically turned it over at a low rate. 

“ … Me playing here in Philly as an opponent, you really soak in the tradition here — the way the fans are, the atmosphere they bring,” he said on April 8. “They’re diehard fans. You’re playing good or you’re playing bad, they’re going to let you know. You want a city like that that cares. You want fans that care about their sport, care about their team and want to see their team win games. It was a great place. I think they had a lot of guys that I can relate to. I think one thing they were probably missing was outside shooting … outside of Danny (Green) and a couple other guys. Just trying to fill that void, to fill that missing piece for a championship.”

Harris sat out the final minutes of the Sixers’ win last Wednesday against Brooklyn and said after the game that he was experiencing “a little aching” in his knee. 

“It’s not load maintenance and we’re not concerned either,” Rivers said. “It’ll get better; it’s getting better. We’re just very cautious, especially with him. But I’m not concerned. It’s not load management. It’s definitely the knee, and we’re just going to let it get right.”

Simmons had played in 14 consecutive games, with the last one he missed the Sixers’ matchup vs. the Kings on March 20 due to left knee soreness. 

After being listed as questionable during the day, Golden State's Stephen Curry (left ankle soreness) and Kelly Oubre (left wrist soreness) were available to play.

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