This isn't an April Fool's Joke, Philadelphia. Sixers stud Thaddeus Young will miss 2-3 weeks due to a ankle sprain and bone bruise, according to the Associated Press.
It's sort of a critical time for Philly, with the playoffs well within reach but not guaranteed. According to PlayoffStatus.com, the Sixers have a magic number of three with nine games to go. But the loss really shows up when you at the race for the No. 5 seed.
Philadelphia enters tonight's slate a half-game behind the Heat for No. 5. As always, I mean no slight to Atlanta. But the difference between drawing the Hawks in first round and the Celtics or Magic in the first round -- that's huge! And the Sixers now face a real struggle to catch and hold off the Heat. (The Sixers do have the tiebreaker advantage over Miami.)
Reggie Evans, Jason Smith and Marreese Speights will be forced to take on a heavier load without Young, and Samuel Dalembert will actually be relied on for production (always a frightful endeavor). Young is a real instigator for active defense and transition game of Philly, and I have a feeling he'll be sorely missed. The Sixers will almost assuredly make the postseason, but chances of avoiding The Big Three in the first round have sunk.