Cavs-Sixers: Preview, Odds, Predictions
As the NBA season inches closer to the All-Star break, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves atop the Eastern Conference with a 22-11 record and a half-game lead on the No. 2 Brooklyn Nets. Tonight, they welcome the 12-21 Cleveland Cavaliers to South Philadelphia.
Last game, five Sixers’ players finished in double-figures with Joel Embiid leading the way. Embiid scored 23 points with nine rebounds and four assists. Seth Curry and Ben Simmons added 15 points each. The game was highlighted by Ben Simmons’ defensive effort on Luka Doncic, as the Sixers shutdown the Mavericks and walked away with a 111-97 victory.
The Sixers currently hold the best home record in the Eastern Conference at 14-2. They will play the final three games at home before the All-Star break. Tonight, they will be without Tobias Harris, who suffered a knee injury during the Mavericks game. According to reports, the injury showed no structural damage for Harris, who can get some well deserved rest leading into All-Star weekend.
The Sixers have played the Cavs just once this year and lost on the road as six point favorites without Joel Embiid in the lineup. Even without Tobias Harris tonight, an Embiid and Simmons led Sixers team should have no problem with the Cavaliers, who enter tonight 2-8 over their last 10 games.
Simmons has been a game-changer for the Sixers in the month of February. The now three-time All-Star is averaging 20.7 points per game in February thanks to a more aggressive approach offensively over the past 3-4 weeks. On top of that, Simmons has welcomed contact in the paint and has converted at the foul line more often. Simmons is shooting 73.3 percent from the line, which is a huge improvement as of late. Without Harris playing tonight, expect Ben Simmons to continue his aggressive approach to help lead the Sixers past the Cavs.
- PG Matthew Dellavedova (abdomen) out
- C Andre Drummond (coach’s decision) out
- PF Kevin Love (calf) out
- PF Larry Nance Jr. (finger) out
- SF Taurean Prince (personal) out
- SF Tobias Harris (knee) out
|CAVALIERS||+11 (-110)||+490||o222 (-108)|
|SIXERS||-11 (-110)||-700||u222 (-113)|
The Cavaliers will heavily rely on their young trio of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Jarrett Allen to steal one on the road from the Sixers tonight. I just don’t see that happening thanks to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. However, losing Tobias Harris will certainly have an impact on this game. The Sixers should be able to win this game, but the double-digit point spread has me taking the Cavaliers +11 and the total, under 222 points.
Picks: Cavs +11 and u222
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer