Revenge Game: What to Watch Sixers vs Portland
The next leg of the Philadelphia 76ers road trip will land them in Portland, Oregon to face the Blazers tonight at 10 PM. The Simmons-less Sixers played a Blazers’ skeleton crew last week and had a brutal showing losing 121-105. The Sixers enter tonight fresh off a comeback win against the Kings on Tuesday. Revenge game incoming.
Both Shake Milton and Seth Curry have recently suffered sprained left ankles. Milton’s injury came late in the game against the Kings and is doubtful for tonight. Seth Curry is expected to play as of right now, but the injury will likely affect his play.
Without Milton, it will be interesting to see how the bench runs without their primary guard. Tyrese Maxey will likely be the primary point, but the Sixers don’t have another bench guard outside of those two. Maxey did not play last game and the Sixers bench outscored the Kings 32-21 in the game.
Ben vs. Dame
Last week when the two teams faced off, both clubs were missing their star guards. Damian Lillard was out with an abdominal strain, while Simmons had a calf injury. Dame is having another career year, averaging almost 30 points per game and had 36 against the Magic on Tuesday. Other guard CJ McCollum has been out with a fracture in his foot, so Lillard has had to carry the offense more than usual.
Without Ben Simmons, the Sixers have looked lost on offense. There is a glaring issue when they do not have a primary ball-handler to initiate the offense. Simmons ability to facilitate the ball and control the pace of the game is invaluable to the Sixers offense. With Simmons on the court, they will look miles better than they did last week.
It was dreadful to watch as the Sixers continued to miss shots from deep against the Blazers last week. Philly could not buy a bucket from deep, taking far too long even to get their first three. The Sixers starting lineup was 2/15 from deep the entire game and overall shot 26% as a team. Without Simmons, the Sixers were forced to use Seth Curry in an on-ball role before he left early. Hopefully, having both Simmons and Curry will allow the Sixers to find more open shots and get the ball rolling offensively tonight.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports