76ers face quick turnaround, host Detroit on second half of back-to-back
Following last night’s win against the Pelicans that was way too close for comfort, the Sixers are back in action tonight hosting the Detroit Pistons. Detroit is currently last in the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-47. If the Sixers win three more games this season, they will clinch the first seed in the East for the first time since 2001.
The 76ers have been on a tear the last few weeks, having won their previous seven, the longest winning streak in the NBA currently. Philly has been lucky to have an easy schedule to close out the season but has played numerous games in a short span. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Seth Curry are listed currently as questionable, but it looked likely earlier that the Sixers would rest several starters on the second half of a back-to-back. On the contrary, Doc could play everyone until the first seed is secured, then let them get a nice break before the playoffs begin.
Either way, the Sixers bench is going to need to step it up big time. Several games throughout their winning streak were blowouts but turned into late game battles because the bench choked the lead. George Hill has been subpar during his tenure in Philadelphia, and hopefully, he is still just figuring out the offense. Meanwhile, Shake Milton had an impressive performance against Houston for 19 points off the bench but struggled against the Pelicans, making just one of his five attempts.
Detroit will be gaining back many of their key pieces tonight, with Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee returning to the lineup. When the Sixers traveled to Detroit back in January, the two teams split their series, with Philadelphia’s loss occurring when Embiid sat out. If the Sixers come out and play aggressively and the bench shows some life, this game shouldn’t be close, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this went down to the wire once again.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports