Since losing Ben Simmons on Feb. 22 to a lower back impingement, the Philadelphia 76ers have gone 3-4 and while falling to sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. This includes losses to the Cavaliers and Warriors without their star point guard. It's safe to say Philadelphia would benefit greatly from having Simmons back on the floor, but it doesn't appear that will be happening any time soon.
While Simmons is making good progress recovering from his lower back injury, he will not be reevaluated for another three weeks, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. While the Sixers are in no danger at all of dropping any lower in the standings -- barring a massive implosion as they hold an eight-game lead over the seventh-place Brooklyn Nets -- having Simmons healthy before the playoffs start would be ideal. Philly has struggled all season to establish any sort of consistency on the floor, but Simmons has been the main initiator on offense. Without him, there isn't another guard on the Sixers' roster who can come close to what he offers, not just on offense, but on the defensive side of the ball as well.
If Simmons is ready to go by that three-week mark, he could likely be able to return for the Sixers' final seven games of the season, beginning with a game against the Wizards on April 3. That would give him plenty of time to get re-acclimated coming back from his injury before the playoffs begin.
The Sixers currently sit a half-game behind the Pacers for the No. 5 spot in the East, with three games separating them and the fourth-seeded Heat. If the playoffs began today, Philly would be taking on the third-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round. Playing on the road in the playoffs definitely isn't in favor for a team that has gone 10-24 away from its home arena. Trying to secure a top-four spot is incredibly crucial considering the Sixers have the best home record in the league at 28-2. Doing so without Simmons for the foreseeable future, though, is going to be difficult. Still, Philadelphia does benefit from having the third-easiest schedule remaining in the league.