Robert Covington Probable to Return; Jahlil Okafor to Start Vs. Pistons

After missing three straight games with a right hand contusion, Robert Covington is probable to return for the Sixers tonight in Detroit.

The Sixers' defense has suffered without Covington, their best perimeter defender. In the three games he missed, they allowed 113, 102 and 125 points.

Covington had his best two-game stretch of the season and maybe his career before missing those three losses. Against the Bulls on Jan. 29, he had 21 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks. The next night against the Kings, he had 23 points, 10 boards, two assists and four steals.

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The only players in the NBA who had consecutive games at any point this season with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three steals were Covington and DeMarcus Cousins earlier in January.

Jahlil Okafor is also set to return for the Sixers tonight and will start, according to Sixers sideline reporter Molly Sullivan. Okafor was a surprise scratch Saturday night in Miami.

Joel Embiid is out again with the left knee contusion that has caused him to miss 10 of the Sixers' last 11 games. Embiid will be reevaluated in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Nerlens Noel will come off the bench to back up Okafor. Both will have their hands full with Pistons center Andre Drummond, who's averaged 14.6 points and 13.6 rebounds. However, the Pistons have actually been a worse defensive team with Drummond on the floor this season.

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