Sixers Notes: Back to Basics in High School Gym; Embiid Meets With Doctors

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- The Sixers traded the high-end amenities of their new training complex in Camden for a back-to-basics gymnasium in California.

On Friday the team practiced on the sprawling campus of Santa Monica High School, a small facility with bleachers surrounding both sides of the courts and banners hanging on the walls.  

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"It's just raw," Brett Brown said. "Everyone of us would come into this gym and have a memory of a high school game that was pretty cool, dating a cheerleader, having great times with your teammates. It just reminds you of your youth."

Brown sat with a key to the Sixers youth, Ben Simmons, in the stands as players worked on drills and scrimmaged. Simmons joined the team on their road trip, which began in Portland (see story). The scene took a page out of the basics of basketball Brown has spoken of as a coach.

"In an environment that's as easy and pure as a high school gym, it's just a comfortable conversation," Brown said. "I think with all of my guys, that's a part of the job I truly enjoy."

Embiid meeting with doctors
Joel Embiid also traveled out West and met the Sixers in Los Angeles. He attended a team breakfast Friday morning and then met with doctors to discuss his recovery from knee injuries (right knee contusion, meniscus tear).

"He's talking to different doctors while we're here," Brown said, "and just trying to study his path, go about it meticulously and really sort of create an environment while he is with us where he's a part of the team."

The Sixers shut down Embiid for the season earlier this month. The bone bruise, suffered on Jan. 20, was healing but the meniscus tear was bigger than diagnosed in previous scans. There has been the possibility Embiid could undergo surgery after the bone bruise is healed.

"It's all on the table. We're trying to do homework," Brown said. "There's nothing, to me, news in what I said. It's just reviewing it all. He's got an inner circle around him that's helping guide him and we're just taking all the information in. Ultimately he's the one that has to feel most comfortable with it."

Getting game ready
Those who did practice were tasked with prepping for Saturday's game against the Clippers. The Sixers upset the Clippers on Jan. 24, 121-110. Chris Paul (thumb) did not play and Doc Rivers (illness) did not coach that game, which was Blake Griffin's return from knee injury. The Clippers now are fifth in the West at 39-26.

"I think it changes things a whole lot," T.J.McConnell said of Paul. "When you add an All-Star back on to your team, your team gets that much better. We have to be ready and try to make things tough on them."

The Sixers will determine the availability of Gerald Henderson (hip) for their upcoming back-to-back contests against the Clippers and Lakers. The veteran guard did not practice on Friday for rest.

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