Sixers-Pelicans: Preview, Odds, Predictions
Fresh off completing a season series sweep against the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers had two days off before traveling to New Orleans to face the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center tonight. This will be the first meeting between the Sixers and Pelicans with just over a month ago before the playoffs.
The Pelicans are coming off of two straight blowout losses. First, it was a 123-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. Next, it was a 139-111 rout to the Brooklyn Nets, who currently sit atop of the Eastern Conference Standings with a half-game lead over the 76ers. They have lost four of their last five games.
With a healthy Sixers’ starting lineup, the team is primed to retake the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Although the Pelicans are battling injuries, the Sixers won’t want to give this team a pass. Embiid returning to the lineup is definitely a step in the right direction. He scored 35 points against the Celtics on Tuesday to lead the Sixers to a 106-96 victory over their Eastern Conference rivals. Embiid only shot 9-for-19 as he continues to get back into “game-shape” after missing 10 games, but was able to convert 16-of-20 free throws for this 35 points.
Steven Adams will be tasked with slowing down Embiid tonight, which literally no one in the entire world seems to be capable of doing. The Pelicans as a whole are dealing with multiple injuries. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle) and Josh Hart (thumb) are out for tonight’s game. Lonzo Ball (hip), Brandon Ingram. and Kira Lewis Jr (calf) are questionable. The Sixers however, enter tonight with only George Hill on the injury list.
Projected 76ers Starting Lineup:
- PG: Ben Simmons
- SG: Seth Curry
- SF: Danny Green
- PF: Tobias Harris
- C: Joel Embiid
Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons took control of the Sixers while Embiid was out, leading the team to a 7-3 record without their MVP hopeful center. Adding Embiid back into the mix, the Sixers are a tough team to beat. The Sixers should have zero issues tonight with a healthy starting five and handle the Pelicans tonight, starting their three game road trip with a victory.
|Philadelphia 76ers||-7 (-110)||-300||–|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+7 (-110)||+245||–|
Picks: Sixers -7
Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Leff | Getty Images