What to Watch: 76ers vs Knicks Preview
After a close win on opening night 113-107 over the Washington Wizards, the Sixers are looking to keep up ti stay in the win column tonight as they face off against the New York Knicks in the Big Apple. The Knicks lost their first game of the year to the Indiana Pacers on the road 121-107.
Tonight, the Sixers will look to clean-up some of the glaring issues that occurred during their win vs the Wizards. Offensively, turnovers and the lack of perimeter shooting were an issue during the home opener. The Sixers turned the ball over 16 times in game one and shot 8-28 (28.6%) from beyond the arc.
The responsibility around the perimeter needs to fall on Danny Green and Seth Curry. Against Washington Curry, Green, and Tobias Harris shot 1/13 from deep. These issues shouldn’t stick around long and we should expect Green, Curry, and even Tobias Harris to return to form. Who knows, maybe even Ben Simmons will be shooting tonight given his history against the Knicks.
Looking at New York, the two main players to keep an eye on are R.J. Barrett and former Sixer Alec Burks. Barrett looked impressively dominant in the Knicks’ opener with 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists on 11/15 shooting. Burks led the bench with 22 points on 50% shooting. The battle to watch will be between Burks and Shake Milton who have been the leaders off the bench for both respective teams.
Joel will face a tougher matchup in Mitchell Robinson but likely won’t pose much of a threat to Embiid who had 29 points against the Wizards. Another player to keep an eye out for is Knicks rookie Obi Toppin, who has been a fan favorite since draft night.
Tobias Harris will look to bounce back being the face of criticism after a 3/13 shooting night.
Last season the Sixers were 10-23 on the road before the season’s pause and it will need to be a major change for this season. The team looked night and day when playing at home and in front of opposing crowds. If the Sixers play the same level of basketball as the other night or better, they should walk away with an easy win against the Knicks.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports