Sixers-Nuggets: Preview, Odds, Predictions
The Philadelphia 76ers are in Denver tonight to take on the Nuggets. This time around, they will have more than nine total players like they did at home against the Nuggets in early January. The Sixers lost that game 115-103 but got a 39 point effort from rookie Tyrese Maxey.
Tonight, they will still be without Joel Embiid (left knee bone bruise) and newly acquired George Hill (right thumb surgery). Although we will not get the coveted Embiid vs Jokic matchup yet again, tonight is a very important game for the Sixers as they hope to keep pace ahead of the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference standings. The Sixers currently have a half game lead on the Nets and sit in first place. They are 8-2 over their last 10 games and 6-2 during Embiid’s latest absence.
The Sixers will be looking to rebound after a poor showing in Los Angeles against the Clippers. They turned the ball over 36 times against the Clippers. Ben Simmons was responsible for 13 turnovers himself. Denver is tremendous on the boards and creating turnovers. If the Sixers want to steal one tonight on the road, they cannot afford to turn the ball over.
Ben Simmons will likely be matched up against Denver’s newly acquired Aaron Gordon tonight. Gordon, who made his debut last game for the Nuggets against Atlanta, scored 13 points in 21 minutes. The last time he faced the Sixers, Gordon had one of the worst games of the season in which he shot 1-for-8 from the floor in the Magic’s blowout loss on New Year’s Eve.
Tobias Harris continues to progress his game and has averaged 24 points, eight rebounds, and five assists over the last eight games without Joel Embiid. Harris continues to be an x-factor for the Sixers and is now in a key role for the team’s success, even more so without Embiid on the floor.
|Philadelphia 76ers||+5 (-110)||+176||o221 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets||-5 (-110)||-255||u221 (-110)|
One key factor for the Sixers tonight will be the pace of play. The Denver Nuggets love to slow down the game while conversely, the Sixers love to speed up opposing defenses and attack mismatches. The 76ers rank eighth in the NBA in terms of pace of play while the Nuggets are at the bottom of the barrel, ranking 29th. If the Sixers want to leave Denver with a win, they will need to stay aggressive and keep their foot on the gas throughout the entire game.
I actually like the Sixers to at the very least, cover tonight’s five point spread against Denver. The over is also looking good at 221. After a sloppy game against the Clippers, I have full faith in Doc Rivers to right the ship tonight.
Picks: Sixers +5 and o221
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images