Philadelphia 76ers: Can Tony Bradley step up?

Philadelphia 76ers, Tony Bradley (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, Tony Bradley (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Certainly, the Philadelphia 76ers and their fans should be relieved to learn that MVP front runner Joel Embiid is only projected to miss two or three weeks with a minor knee injury. That news is certainly the best possible outcome, but the Sixers still have some short-term questions to answer because of that injury.

The biggest of those questions is whether or not fourth-year center Tony Bradley can hold down the fort in Embiid’s absence? It’s not if future Hall of Famer Dwight Howard should be starting, this season has proven he shouldn’t be starting anymore. It’s all on Bradley while Embiid takes his time to recover.

Can Bradley hold down the center position for the Philadelphia 76ers?

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Luckily for the 76ers, the evidence thus far says Bradley is good enough to hold down the fort. With Bradley as the starter, Philly is 2-0 with wins against the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls. As the starting big man, Bradley has averaged 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks, while converting 88.9 percent of his field goal attempts.

In his most recent start against the Bulls, he was good on defense, ran the floor very well in transition and converted high percentage shots. While the sample size is small, there should be optimism that he can hold down hold things down for the Sixers for this stretch.

Of course, time will tell if he can do it over a long period of time, but with Howard, Vincent Poirier, and even Paul Reed as other options on the roster in case he does struggle, Philly should be fine. However, unless Embiid does end up missing more than just two or three weeks, it seems unlikely that the 76ers would make a deal to upgrade the position.

On another note, if Bradley does perform well during this stretch, he could earn himself a payday next offseason and probably could earn himself a long-term role as Embiid’s backup if that is what he wants.

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The Philadelphia 76ers shouldn’t be too concerned in the short term with Bradley replacing the injured Embiid in the starting lineup.