Monday Night Basketball: Sixers vs Pistons Preview and Predictions
The Philadelphia 76ers are back on the court tonight in Detroit against the Pistons. They are coming off a 114-110 victory against the Pistons on Friday night, a game in which Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons dominated throughout. Embiid added yet another MVP-caliber performance to his resume, scoring 31 points and pulling in 14 rebounds. Simmons finally broke through his early-season offensive struggles and scored 20 points to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists.
After weathering a terrible two week stretch of the season where the team was decimated by COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the Sixers finally had their starting lineup back on the court on Friday and improved to 9-0 when all starters are healthy. The Sixers are currently 12-5 and sit atop the Eastern Conference while the Pistons continue to struggle and find themselves at the bottom with a 3-13 record.
Joel Embiid is averaging 27.7 points and 11.5 rebounds per game on the season. He’s essentially unstoppable on the offensive side of the court. Defensively, he’s playing at an elite level and averaging over one steal and block per game. Tonight should be no different for Embiid against a struggling Detroit team.
Ben Simmons’ Offensive Consistency
On Friday, Simmons gave 76ers fans exactly what they expect to see on both ends of the court. As soon as the game tipped off, Simmons was aggressive. In the first half alone, Simmons scored 16 points, including six free throw attempts. The most important part of Simmons offensively was the fact he was not only scoring on signature fast breaks, but also in the post during half-court sets. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Simmons, who has been the player we all expected over the last five quarters of basketball he’s played. Detroit struggles defensively and Ben Simmons should be able to carve them up yet again tonight.
Jerami Grant and the struggling Pistons
The Pistons are all over the place and continue to struggle. They essentially have no secondary scorer and Jerami Grant is forced to take on the majority of scoring responsibilities. That did not go well for Grant last Friday.
Jerami Grant entered Friday’s game averaging 25.1 points per game and shooting 46.2 percent from the field. He was shooting 39.6 percent from deep. Grant who at 26 years old has never averaged over 13.6 points per game in his previous six NBA seasons, has been playing the best basketball of his career. That changed on Friday. Ben Simmons did not allow Grant to breathe and held him to 11 points on 3-of-19 shooting. Simmons was a blanket on Grant all over the court. Much like last game, if the Sixers can stop Jerami Grant, they will win this game.
The Sixers are playing like a top-3 team in the NBA and the Pistons are an absolute train wreck. The Pistons will have to play out of their skin tonight if they want to keep this game close. They essentially did that last Friday, and I have my doubts it will happen tonight. Sixers win this game handedly and improve to 13-5 on the season.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer