The Sixers will look to keep momentum in their favor tonight at home vs the New York Knicks
The Philadelphia 76ers will try to keep momentum in their favor and extend their winning streak to six straight games tonight against the New York Knicks. The Sixers have won three straight games since returning from the All-Star break. As we all know, the next two to three weeks, they will be without MVP candidate Joel Embiid due to a bone bruise in his knee.
The Knicks will come to Philly on the second night of a back-to-back. They lost Monday night to the team that is sitting in second place behind the Sixers in the Eastern Conference standings, the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks are six point road underdogs in this game.
|New York Knicks||+6 (-108)||+210||o216 (-110)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-6 (-112)||-255||u216 (-110)|
The Sixers did get Ben Simmons back after he missed the first two games of the second half of the season due to the NBA health and safety protocols. Simmons returned against the Spurs on Sunday and scored 14 points, with nine assists and four rebounds. Simmons and Harris will carry the majority of the weight for the Sixers until Embiid returns. The most impressive part of the Sixers, however, has been their bench.
Doc Rivers has the Sixers in the best position to steady the waters until Embiid returns. Tobias Harris led the Sixers on Sunday night against the Spurs with 23 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists while Seth Curry chipped in 21 points with four rebounds and four assists. Danny Green caught fire from beyond the arc, scoring 16 points. Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard combined for 12 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists. The Sixers are the fourth-highest scoring team in the NBA and back it up on defense, allowing the 8th fewest points per game.
Matisse Thybulle has been incredible on defense, as usual. Offensively, he has really stepped his game up since the second half of the season began less than a week ago. Thybulle has scored 13 points, eight points, and 10 points on very efficient offensive nights for the Sixers while adding 11 steals and two blocks in three games.
The Sixers need to be cautious with the Knicks, who area. team that allow the fewest points per game in the NBA at 105.3 per night. They are tied for the top-field goal shooting defense at 44.3 percent and hold opponents to a league low 33.4 percent from three point range. As good as the Knicks can be on defense, they lack offensive firepower and rank 28th in the NBA in scoring. Last night against Brooklyn, they should a dismal 40.2 percent from the field. The Knicks did however, hit 15 three pointers to keep them in the game.
With an offense that’s clearly a work in progress, the Sixers should be able to shut down the Knicks with their strong defense. Getting a win tonight before hitting the road on a tough, West Coast road trip would be huge for the Sixers. Given the fact that the Sixers are an Eastern Conference best 17-3 at home and an NBA best 20-6 against conference opponents, they should have no problem tonight vs the Knicks.
Simmons can throw a wrench into the Knicks offensive game plan by shutting down Julius Randle or RJ Barrett. Ideally, Matisse can take care of Barrett and Simmons can focus on Randle. The Sixers are hot right now and are coming off a game in which they shot 57.1 percent from the floor and 51.7 percent from three point range.
Nothing changes tonight. The Sixers will win this game handedly.
Picks: 76ers -6 (-112)
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY