What to Watch: Sixers-Pacers Preview
After a dominant win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, the Sixers continue their road trip tonight as they travel to Indiana to face the fourth place 11-8 Pacers. The Pacers are fresh off a close loss to the Charlotte Hornets 108-105 on Friday and look to bounce back against the 76ers.
Myles Turner thinks he can stop Joel Embiid
Pacers center Myles Turner is currently having a career season across the board. Most notably, he is averaging over FOUR blocks per game. Turner holds a commanding lead in the NBA in that category, with second place Rudy Gobert having just 2.7 blocks per game. Through 17 games, Myles has six games where he recorded at least five blocks, his most being eight blocks earlier during the start of the season.
As reported by the Indy Star, when asked about guarding Joel Embiid tonight, Turner said “If I am who I think I am, I’m going to step up to the challenge.” As history will tell us, Embiid never turns away from a challenge and will almost certainly be looking to out perform Turner tonight at all costs. While it’s always great to feel confident in your abilities, Joel shouldn’t have any issues. Embiid has torn through every big man in his way this season, and Turner won’t be any different.
Pacers large lineup
The Pacers have held one of the largest frontcourts in the NBA for a few years now. Power forward Domntas Sabonis and center Myles Turner both are 6’11 with stocky frames. Sabonis is putting together another All-Star season averaging over 20 points, 12 rebounds, and almost six assists through 19 games. With the absence of TJ Warren, Sabonis has been taking most of the load on offense with Malcolm Brogdon.
Having both these bigs could pose somewhat of a matchup problem for the Sixers. Sabonis is a bit too talented under the basket for Harris, so Simmons will likely need to slide underneath. Allowing Domntas to get into a rhythm is dangerous, but this is the blessing of having two Defensive Player of the Year candidates in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
A Slumping Shake Milton
Guard Shake Milton has had a rocky stretch the last two weeks. Milton hasn’t shot over 50% in his previous six games or made more than four baskets in a game. Milton is often finding his spots but is just unable to execute.
It seems like your average shooting slump, but he is due any game now to break free from it. Getting Shake back in rhythm is vital to this bench group who has been lacking without his offensive presence the last several games.
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