The Sixers on a quick turnaround, will face the Wizards tonight in D.C.
The Philadelphia 76ers are back in action tonight at 8 pm against the Washington Wizards after a game last night in Chicago. The Sixers defeated the Chicago Bulls 127-105 without Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons. The All-Stars were placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols over the All-Star break after exposure to their barber, who tested positive for COVID-19.
Simmons has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Wizards and is hoping to make his second half debut Sunday against the Spurs. Joel Embiid’s status for tonight is still to be determined. The Sixers find themselves atop of the Eastern Conference standings at 25-12 and were able to stay ahead of the Brooklyn Nets after their role players and Tobias Harris secured a win against the Bulls in the Chicago.
Tobias Harris started the game off slow, going 0-for-5 from the field. He was able to turn things around shortly after and finished the game with a team-leading 24 points. Harris didn’t make an actual field goal until the second quarter but was successful in getting to the line to make up for his missed shots. From there, he scored 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the final three quarters.
The bench mob scored 55 points and seven Sixers finished in double-figures. The most surprising was Tony Bradley, who got the start at center in Embiid’s absence. Doc Rivers opted to keep Dwight Howard with his normal bench rotation and give Bradley the opportunity to start. Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard combined for 32 points on 15-for-19 shooting, with 17 rebounds and five blocked shots to help the Sixers leave Chicago with a win to start the second half of the season.
With or without Embiid tonight, the Wizards will need to be at their best against the Sixers. As of this morning, the Wizards have Bradley Beal listed as questionable for the game tonight. Beal, who tied the Wizards franchise record for most points in a game with 60 the last time he faced the Sixers, would be a huge loss for the Wizards tonight if he does not play.
In the previous two meetings between the teams, the Sixers were able to dominate the paint, scoring 52 and 50 points behind a pair of spectacular performances from Joel Embiid. Embiid is averaging 30.2 points per game and 11.6 rebounds per game this year and having him back in the lineup tonight would be huge as the Sixers need to stay ahead of pace with the Brooklyn Nets, who currently sit a half game behind the Sixers in the standings.
After losing three straight games in mid-February, the 76ers rebounded to win seven of their last nine games. They currently are on a three game winning streak and look to extend that to four tonight against the Wizards. The Sixers have defeated the Wizards in four straight games, two of which came this season.
Without Simmons, the Sixers will turn to Matisse Thybulle and the bench mob yet again tonight. Defensively, Thybulle dominated the first half, recording four steals in the first five minutes of play on Thursday night. Matisse Thybulle had just as many steals as the Chicago Bulls had made shots during that span of the game. He was the primary defender on All-Star Zach LaVine, who had an off-night in general, scoring only 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting for the Bulls.
In the second half of the game, Thybulle started knocking down shots. Matisse scored 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting, which included 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. For those keeping tabs, Bradley and Thybulle combined for 27 points on 12-of-12 shooting for the Sixers last night.
|SIXERS||-4.5 (-106)||-190||o227 (-112)|
|WIZARDS||+4.5 (-114)||+132||u227 (-108)|
I bet against the Sixers last night and of course, the Sixers not only won that game, but hit the over with time to spare. It’s tough to make any type of pick early on in the day today with the uncertainty surrounding both Joel Embiid and Bradley Beal’s availability tonight, but since I am a man of the people, I will battle through the adversity. I hate betting the Sixers on the second night of a back-to-back, even more so when they are on the road and without Ben Simmons.
Let’s just say last night’s win for the Sixers in Chicago and my losses betting against them have me inspired.
Picks: Sixers -4.5 and the o227