The Sixers (3-2) have stayed relatively healthy through the first 11 days of the season. Wednesday night was the first game where a player was sidelined with an injury.
During his pregame warm-up, rookie Nik Vucevic suffered a left-side lumbar back strain. He did not dress for what became a win against the Hornets. He is a game-time decision for Friday night's home opener against the Detroit Pistons (2-4).
Thaddeus Young has third and fourth metacarpal joint sprain in his non-shooting (right) hand. He wore a dual sleeve covering the two middle fingers at the morning shoot around and will play Friday.
Its good, Young said of his injury. Im a left handed player and its my right hand. That is the best thing about it. I am happy that it wasnt broke or anything like that. It was real numb when I got on the plane (home from New Orleans). I am fine now. Hopefully it doesnt hinder any part of my game.
Young said the injury occurred in Wednesdays third quarter, but he did close out the game, which was a 101-93 win for the Sixers.
The Pistons are not as fortunate on the injury front. They will be without their starting back court of Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey. Gordon is not with the team because of personal reasons; Stuckey suffered a strained groin Wednesday in a loss against the Bulls.
Gordon leads the team in minutes played (34) and points (16.2)
Stuckey, who averages 11 points and 30 minutes, wants his injury heeled before returning to action.
I dont want to go out there and aggravate it more, Stuckey said. I need to let it heel before I can come back and rest is the best for that.
Knight, the rookie out of Kentucky, will make his first NBA start, but did have a big scoring night in the second game of the season where he shot 10 for 19 for 23 points.
Daye is a third year player who, after averaging 20 minutes per game a season ago, has had trouble finding regular minutes in his new head coachs rotation. Daye is averaging two points and 10 minutes.
Last season, however, Daye had a strong performance in the first meeting against the Sixers when he was 5 for 8, including 3 for 4 from three-point range for 15 points. He also hit a game-tying three-pointer from the corner to send the contest to overtime.
It will be the third time in six games the Sixers are facing a team missing a key piece. Utah was without starting center Al Jefferson, Golden State was minus their leading scorer Monta Ellis and now Detroit has to shake up their lineup.
In fairness, the Sixers faced a New Orleans team that welcomed back their leading scorer, Eric Gordon, when they played on Wednesday. Gordon scored 22 but the Sixers won by eight.