The Sixers begin West Coast trip tonight against the Golden State Warriors
The Philadelphia 76ers are heading west on a tough five game road trip that starts tonight as they take on the Golden State Warriors at 10 pm. Queue the “me trying to stay awake for the Sixers tweets” that tend to flood the timeline every time the Sixers are on the West Coast. Personally, there’s nothing better than a 10 pm tip-off but let’s get back to the Sixers. The team is currently sitting at 30-12 atop of the Eastern Conference standings, one game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets (29-14) in second place.
The Sixers will be without Joel Embiid yet again tonight as he continues to recover from a bone bruise in his knee which happened on March 12th against the Washington Wizards. Embiid’s timetable to return was initially set at 2-3 weeks, but reports earlier this week indicated that he is ahead of schedule, although the Sixers should be in no rush to bring him back without him being 100% healthy for the last part of the season and playoffs.
Not including the Wizards game, the Sixers are 4-1 without Joel Embiid and have been playing well. That easily could have been 5-0 if they didn’t let a game slip away against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Sixers overall are 11-9 on the road this year and currently head west riding a four game road win streak. In addition to Embiid being out, Seth Curry is also out with an ankle injury. Both Curry brothers will be out tonight as Steph Curry is sidelined with a tailbone injury. The Warriors will also be without James Wiseman, Kevon Looney, and Eric Paschall due to the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The Sixers will rely heavily on Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and Shake Milton tonight against the Warriors. Milton has scored 49 points over his last two games. He started against the Kings and came off the bench against the Knicks. The Sixers won both games. Although the Sixers left Madison Square Garden with a victory, no one was particularly happy about it. Sloppy execution and fatigue at the end of the game caused some issues for the Sixers but as we all know, a win is a win and it kept them atop of the Eastern Conference standings.
Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris will definitely have an impact on this game tonight. Shake Milton’s offensive production over the last few games will be much needed as well. The key to tonight’s game, however, will be in the hands of the Sixers’ big men Dwight Howard and Tony Bradley. Over the past five games since Embiid’s injury, Howard and Bradley have a combined 96 rebounds which is good for roughly 19 rebounds a game. Tonight, they will be facing a Warriors team that ranks 25th in defensive rebounding percentage and 30th in offensive rebound percentage. If the Sixers can control the boards, they should be able to grab their fifth consecutive victory on the road before heading to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Thursday night.
|Philadelphia 76ers||-4 (-105)||-168||o216.5 (-112)|
|Golden State Warriors||+4 (-115)||+140||u216.5 (-110)|
The Sixers defense has been key over the last five games, holding the Wizards to 101 points, the Spurs to 99, the Knicks to 96, Bucks to 105, Kings to 105, and then the Knicks again to 100. Looking at the lines tonight, the Warriors just don’t have enough players available to match-up well against the Sixers. The Sixers themselves, with the exception of a scoring outburst against the Kings, have been right around the 100-mark on offense. That being said, I absolutely love the Sixers -4 and the under at 216.5.
Picks: Sixers -4 and u216.5
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY