With Embiid back, here's what you need to know for Sixers-T'Wolves


The Sixers are glad to be back home, even if it’s just for the weekend.

They’ll play a back-to-back set at Wells Fargo Center against the Timberwolves and Grizzlies before hitting the road again for a four-game trip.

Here are the essentials for Saturday night’s matchup between the 33-15 Sixers and 12-37 Minnesota: 

  • When: 8 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center 
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus 
  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app 

And here are three storylines to watch: 

Embiid is back

Joel Embiid will play for the first time since he suffered a left knee bone bruise on March 12.

Embiid's return is obviously a significant story for the Sixers and the league at large. Though he’s seemingly fallen well back in the MVP race during his time out with a left knee bone bruise, Embiid was playing like an MVP before his injury.

We looked at what the Sixers’ 7-3 stretch without him confirmed about the team here

George Hill is with the team, though he won’t play. Rivers said Monday that Hill was still doing rehabilitation work after having right thumb surgery on Feb. 2 and “we’re not going to force him back or push him back.” He added Saturday that Hill is able to shoot but not yet participating in contact drills.

First time seeing Towns 

An Embiid vs. Karl-Anthony Towns matchup would be their first since their fight on Oct. 30, 2019. Both players were suspended two games following the scrap.

Embiid has won his last five head-to-head meetings against Towns, who has averaged 24.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists. 

This year has been devastating personally for Towns, whose mother Jacqueline died of complications from COVID-19 last April. He was out for this season’s first Sixers-Timberwolves game on Jan. 29 after testing positive for COVID-19. Many family members and friends of Towns plan to be in Philadelphia for Saturday’s game, per The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, who recently wrote about Towns’ father Karl attending his first game since Jacqueline’s passing. 

Can Edwards come up with something special? 

With Ricky Rubio out because of back spasms Friday night in Memphis and D’Angelo Russell sidelined after having left knee surgery last month, Anthony Edwards posted 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting and six assists in the Timberwolves’ loss Friday night to the Grizzlies. Rubio and Malik Beasley (left hamstring soreness) are out. 

Edwards, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, has not been known for that kind of efficient scorer. The league knows all about his incredible dunks, though.

He’s scored over 20 points in each of his last four games on 51.4 percent shooting, bumping his season field goal percentage up to 39.4 

The Timberwolves will likely require a big game from Edwards (or someone besides Towns) to beat the Sixers. They hung with the Sixers for a half back in January, in part because Embiid missed his first five shots and the team only made 2 of its first 14 mid-range attempts. Embiid ultimately had 37 points and 11 rebounds in a blowout Sixers win.

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