Breaking: Sixers Rule Out Veteran for Game 1 vs. New York Knicks…

As the Philadelphia 76ers begin their playoff run in 2024 against the New York Knicks, they’ll be down at least two veterans for the start of the series.

To no surprise, the Sixers ruled out Robert Covington in advance. Considering Covington hasn’t played in months and never received clearance to return to practice leading up to the final week of the regular season, it was apparent he could miss the playoffs.

The Sixers haven’t guaranteed Covington’s absence for the postseason, but he’s out at the start of the first-round series against the Knicks, as is the veteran guard, De’Anthony Melton.

Throughout the second half of the season, the Sixers dealt with three significant setbacks. Melton joined Robert Covington and Joel Embiid on the injury report for several months.

While Melton returned to the court to compete multiple times after going down with a back injury in December, the veteran guard simply cannot shake his injury off entirely.

During the final week of the regular season, Melton returned after being sidelined for a month. In the matchup against the Detroit Pistons, the two-way standout checked in for 16 minutes in the 18-point win over the Pistons.

Moving forward, Sixers head coach Nick Nurse hoped to ramp up Melton’s minutes as time progressed. Unfortunately, the veteran saw the court for just five minutes in his second game back. By the time the Sixers reached their season finale against the Brooklyn Nets, Melton was ruled out once again.

On Wednesday, the Sixers hosted the Atlanta Hawks for the battle of the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference’s Play-In Tournament. Melton was ruled out. While the Sixers wouldn’t make an early call on Melton after Wednesday’s game, his absence for Friday’s practice was telling. Then, the injury report confirmed what was expected; Melton is ruled out for Game 1.

Before suffering his setback, Melton started in 31 games for the Sixers. While he struggled with his shot, draining just 39 percent of his field goals, Melton averaged 12 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block per game.

Since playing in 31 of the Sixers’ first 32 games, Melton appeared in just seven games leading up to the playoffs. He’ll miss his third game in a row on Saturday as the Sixers face the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

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