2021 Playoffs: East Semifinal | 76ers (1) vs. Hawks (5)
Sixers seek fill-in for injured Danny Green
The veteran guard is expected to miss at least two weeks with a right calf strain.
Charles Odum | The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Doc Rivers isn’t revealing his plan for replacing Danny Green in the Philadelphia 76ers’ lineup.
Rivers said Sunday “some of the unintended good consequences of having injuries during the regular season” are having options for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. Green’s injury is a big loss for Rivers, but the coach has a deep bench.
Green is expected to miss at least two weeks after straining his right calf early Friday in a 127-111 win over the Hawks. The 76ers took a 2-1 lead in the series, putting Atlanta behind in a series for the first time in this postseason.
Hawks coach Nate McMillan is trying to avoid putting added pressure on his players.
“I think all games are must-wins,” McMillan said Sunday. “If we don’t get tomorrow night we still have another chance in Philly, but you want to take advantage of your home court.”
Matisse Thybulle was Rivers’ first choice to replace Green in Friday night’s game. Thybulle scored only seven points but he joined Ben Simmons to lead the defensive effort against Hawks point guard Trae Young.
Rivers could try to add offense by inserting Shake Milton or Furkan Korkmaz into the lineup. Korkmaz scored 14 points, including 11 in the opening period, in Game 3. Milton had 14 points off the bench in the 76ers’ Game 2 win in Philadelphia.
Another 3-point shooter on the floor could help create room near the basket for center Joel Embiid and others.
“It is a decision we’re going to have to make on what’s more important, the extra defender or the extra floor spacer,” Rivers said, adding Green was “so good, in a lot of cases you got some of both.”
Thybulle said more than one player must fill the leadership void left by Green’s injury.
“When you lose a vocal guy, it’s not so much for one person to step up but for everyone,” Thybulle said. “I think it’s huge for me and for everyone down the line.”