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76ers' Josh Richardson Ruled out vs. Raptors with Hamstring Injury

Blake SchusterContributor IIIJanuary 23, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers guard Josh Richardson handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers didn't just lose a game against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night, it lost Josh Richardson, too.  

After starting in Toronto, Richardson pulled up with a left hamstring injury early in the first quarter. The team quickly announced he would not return, per the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey. 

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps

Sixers officially say Josh Richardson will be re-evaluated tomorrow for his hamstring strain.

Richardson has been increasingly vital to the Sixers' offense in the wake of an injury to big man Joel Embiid. Since the center underwent finger surgery on his non-shooting hand, Richardson has increased his average points per game from 14.8 to 18 with Philly going 6-2 over that stretch.

Another blow to the Sixers' starting lineup won't be easy to overcome. Especially with a matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers up next on Saturday. Fortunately, the schedule gets a bit easier after that with the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks due next. 

On Wednesday, the 26-year-old shooting guard was replaced with Shake Milton, a second-year player out of SMU who's averaged 3.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in limited minutes this season. It's hard to ignore the drop-off in points from Richardson to Milton but the person it may hurt most is point guard Ben Simmons.

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

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Already Simmons has been tasked with shouldering the load as Embiid continues to get healthy. That gets a lot tougher without Richardson on the floor. 

Richardson is in the first year of a four-year, $41.9 million deal with the Sixers and has already missed eight games this season. Needless to say, Philadelphia needs him on the floor now more than ever. If the timing of this injury weren't tough enough with Embiid sidelined, it gets a bit messier with the February 6 trade deadline approaching. If Richardson is out for more than a few days it may change how aggressive general manager Elton Brand gets at the deadline.

The Sixers fell 107-95 to the Raptors. 

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