76ers lose Thybulle, Maxey to COVID-19, Sign former Blue Coat to Hardship Deal
The 76ers welcome in the Houston Rockets Monday, and so far the New Year isn’t on Philly’s side. Earlier today, both Matisse Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey were placed into health and safety protocols as the NBA deals with league-wide COVID issues. The NBA has even gone far enough to adjust eleven games on the schedule for this regular season. That list includes two games for the 76ers, one in Houston that was moved up two weeks and a home game against the Pelicans on January 25th that was postponed back in December.
Losing Maxey and Thybulle with Tyler Johnson already in health and safety protocols means the 76ers are very thin in the backcourt. In response the team signed former Delaware Blue Coat Charlie Brown Jr. Brown is a local prospect, growing up in Philadelphia and attending St. Joe’s University. To start the season, Brown was with the Delaware Blue Coats but signed a hardship contract with the Dallas Mavericks in late December. With that 10-day contract expiring, the 76ers have brought him in. Without him I honestly don’t know who would be running guard off the bench for Philly.
While it is nice to see the 76ers being proactive to combat their own COVID issues, I’m sure many of you are wondering how long two of the Sixers brightest stars will be out. Luckily, the NBA recently adjusted the window for asymptomatic isolation down from ten to six days. With the new guidlines, the Sixers are going to be without Maxey and Thybulle for their next three games against the Rockets, Magic, and Spurs.
Fortunately for the 76ers, their next three opponents all currently hold losing records. If the 76ers want to prove themselves as a top-tier Eastern Conference team, they’ll find a way to win these easier matchups despite the big hit to their backcourt. I mean come on, the Orlando Magic are 7-30 on the season, if Philly finds a way to hand them their eighth win of the season in January they’ve got much bigger issues.
Losing Maxey and Thybulle hurts, but it isn’t all bad news out of the 76ers camp today. Danny Green had been in health and safety protocols but is set to start tonight after missing the last two weeks. Green has certainly showed signs of aging this season with multiple injuries so far this year and lack-luster performances on the court. However, getting him back from protocols in wake of the Maxey/Thybulle news is big for this week’s slate of games.
For anyone interested how the Rockets lineup looks for tonight contest, they’ll be without two of their leading scorers for much different reasons. Houston will be without Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. due to an internal suspension from the coaching staff due to disciplinary reasons in reaction to their loss to the Nuggets. Safe to say, the 76ers should be alright thanks to a easy portion of the schedule despite the losses of Maxey and Thybulle.
Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated