Preview: Sixers look for sixth straight win against Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets
I feel like I haven’t watched the Philadelphia 76ers play basketball in forever and tonight, you really couldn’t ask for a better return-to-action than having Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets come to South Philadelphia to face Embiid and company in a game filled with headlines.
Sixers Return Home After 5-0 Road Trip
On Saturday night, I was down in South Philly watching the Eagles beat the crap out of the New York Giants and missed the Tyrese Maxey-led victory over the Sacramento Kings. In a game where both Joel Embiid and Harden got the night off, Maxey dropped 32 points to lead the Sixers to 129-127 win against the Kings. It was the Sixers fifth straight win and completed a 5-0 road trip West.
Yesterday, Joel Embiid missed practice with a left foot injury. Doc Rivers spoke with the media and said that Embiid is officially listed as day-to-day. On the Sixers official injury report today, Embiid is listed as questionable for tonight’s game. Ideally, Embiid will be ready to go tonight. While most people tell me to forget about Ben Simmons, I really don’t think that’s possible to do in Philadelphia until you see the former Sixers player on the court against Joel Embiid.
Furkan Korkmaz (right shoulder) is out tonight, while James Harden (right foot tendon strain) was upgraded to probable.
For the Nets, Kevin Durant (right MCL sprain) was the only one listed this afternoon and is OUT tonight after it was determined on Monday that he will need more time to recover from his injury.
Embiid vs Simmons, Harden vs Nets
The Sixers have won 18 out of their last 21 games and are a beautiful 9-2 in the month of January. At 30-16 on the season, they sit in sole possession of the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks and a game ahead of the Nets, who are in fourth place as they head to South Philly tonight to face the Sixers at The Well.
Let’s just operate under the assumption that Joel Embiid and James Harden will be playing tonight. This will finally be the game we have been waiting for, as Ben Simmons and the Nets come to South Philadelphia. On top of the Embiid-Simmons storyline, let’s not forget about the last few weeks where Kyrie Irving and Nic Claxton (lol) both spoke with the media and threw shade on their former teammate James Harden.
Needless to say, I want to destroy the Brooklyn Nets tonight.
The Nets enter tonight in fourth place in the East have been struggling without Kevin Durant in the lineup. They are just 5-5 over their last 10 games, while going 12-12 on the road so far this season.
Brooklyn plays well away from home, going 11-3 in their previous 13 road games. However, the Nets are 5-11 in its past 16 meetings against the Sixers. The last time the Nets were in town, Embiid, Harden, AND Maxey did not play, but the Sixers led by Tobias Harris and De’Anthony Melton, Shake Milton, and Georges Niang beat a fully healthy Brooklyn Nets team 115-106.
If you remember, Georges Niang was talking an insane amount of shit that game as the Sixers pulled off a miracle win.
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Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers – 7:30PM – The Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA
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All things considered, this is a game that the Philadelphia 76ers should be ready for. They are clicking on all cylinders lately and with Tyrese Maxey coming off the bench, they have really found their footing. Since Doc Rivers moved Maxey to the bench, the Sixers are 11-3, compared to 3-5 with him as a starter.
The 76ers have won their last nine home games against teams with a winning record.
Each of the 76ers’ last six home games have hit the over.
The Nets have failed to cover the spread in four of their last five games against Eastern Conference opponents.