76ers Game Preview: Second Leg of a Back-to-Back Tonight in Detroit.
Tonight, the 76ers continue one of their toughest stretches of the season with six games in nine days, including two separate back-to-back sets of games. The Sixers are coming off a red-hot four game home stand without dropping a game despite losing Danny Green and Tobias Harris for contests against the Blazers and Bulls. Now, after narrowly defeating Chicago just a few hours ago, the 76ers hit the road to take on the Pistons in Detroit.
Just a week ago, the 76ers hosted the Pistons in Wells Fargo Center. That game saw Detroit dealing with some injuries, mainly the absence of Cade Cunningham, the top pick in last year’s NBA Draft. This time around, the Pistons will be almost completely healthy for this contest on home court, and have even picked up a win for themselves since dropping to 0-4 against the Sixers last week.
On the 76ers side, the injury bug has bitten the team much worse since these two teams last met. Danny Green is still out with a hamstring issue he suffered against the Blazers. Not a ton of clarity has been provided with the injury itself, but Danny Green will miss his second game tonight against the Pistons.
While not an injury, Tobias Harris will also miss extended time after testing positive for COVID earlier this week. Harris will be out at least ten days since testing positive, effectively ruling him out for this contest as well.
Despite the 76ers heavy losses in the starting lineup, Philly still sits at second in the East with a 6-2 record after winning four straight games at home in large part thanks to bench players stepping up. Last night in the win over the Bulls the 76ers bench contributed 30 points even with Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz pushed into the starting lineup.
Georges Niang was only outscored by Seth Curry, putting up 18 points off the bench while shooting 4-8 from three. Niang has scored 39 points in the past two games where the 76ers have had to deal with blows to their starting lineup, all while shooting just around 45-percent from three.
On the defensive end, it seems Matisse Thybulle has somehow gotten even better since last season at terrorizing opposing teams guards. Last night Thybulle was pushed into the starting lineup due to the potent scoring backcourt of Lonzo Ball, Zach Lavine, and DeMar Derozen from the Chicago Bulls. Thybulle ended the contest with three steals and two blocks, coming up with key stops that would ultimately push the 76ers over the edge.
Last night’s game against the Bulls marks the fourth game in a row where Thybulle has recorded three or more steals. With Ben Simmons elite defense absent from the 76ers, Thybulle has managed to kick his defensive ability up a notch when the team needs it most.
Here are tonight’s odds brought to you by Parx Sportsbook, the official sports gambling partner of The Liberty Line.
|Philadelphia 76ers||-5 (-112)||-205||O 207.5 (-112)|
|Detroit Pistons||+5 (-110)||+160||U 207.5 (-109)|
Parx Sportsbook even has a special Odds Boost for tonight’s matchup against the Pistons. The NBA special was boosted from +112 to +140.
The 76ers are obviously going to be favored in a matchup against a 1-6 Pistons team, but come into this game with some caution. The 76ers just played a close game against the Bulls last night and had to immediately hop on a plane to get out to Detroit. Back-to-back’s are one of if not the most difficult things about the NBA regular season, and constantly lead to upsets especially when a team has to go on the road for one.
I still believe the 76ers will pull out the win, but it may be closer than the standings suggest.
Currently no healthy 76ers are slated for rest for tonight’s contest, which means Joel Embiid will get another bout against the Pistons. Expect a similar lineup featuring Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle with the injury and illness issues for the 76ers, though Georges Niang might sneak in due to the stellar play from the Australian as of late.
Tip-off is set for 7 eastern tonight on NBCS Philadelphia.
Mandatory Credit: Matt Slocum.