Sixers

Sixers Look Primed for Successful Homestand

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Consistency hasn’t exactly been the mantra of the Philadelphia 76ers’ season so far, but Sunday’s big win over the Cleveland Cavaliers may be pointing to a shift for the better. Philadelphia saw Tobias Harris break out of his scoring slump for 27 points. The defense did its part in holding Cleveland to 38% shooting from the field. The Sixers will look to capitalize on these successes this week. This week’s slate includes three home games, a welcome sight for Philadelphia as they are unbeaten at home this year. The week ends with a Jimmy Butler reunion, as the Sixers will host Miami on Saturday night.

 

Wednesday, November 20 vs. Knicks, 7:00 PM, NBCS Philadelphia

Philadelphia opens the week with a match-up against the rebuilding New York Knicks. Veteran forward Marcus Morris has done much of the scoring for New York, but it hasn’t amounted to many wins. New York is last in the league in PPG with 101.8. Defensively, they are average, ranking 14th in the league allowing 108.9 PPG. Although the Knicks have two big wins over Dallas this year, it’s hard to imagine this game being close the entire way through. Philadelphia is simply more talented and more experienced. Add in the fact that this is a home game for Philly, this should be an easy win.

Match-up to watch: SG RJ Barrett (NYK) vs. SG Josh Richardson (PHI) – Josh Richardson has been a pleasant surprise for Philadelphia this year, averaging 15.2 PPG. Rookie RJ Barrett is averaging 15.8 PPG this year, and could be an X-factor in this game if he can exploit Richardson.

Friday, November 22 vs. Spurs, 8:00 PM, ESPN

Friday night’s contest marks the first night of a back-to-back for both San Antonio and Philadelphia, forcing Brett Brown to get creative with minutes. With a game against Eastern Conference foe Miami on Saturday night, it wouldn’t be surprising if Brown decides to rest Joel Embiid in favor of Al Horford on Friday night. If that’s the case, look for this game to be closer than expected. Spurs SF DeMar DeRozan is off to a solid start this year, averaging 19.8 PPG and 4.8 APG. Because of his ability to make shots from anywhere on the floor, he’ll be Philadelphia’s top priority defensively.

Match-up to watch: HC Brett Brown (PHI) vs. HC Gregg Popovich (SAS)- This game also marks the 13th contest between Brett Brown and Gregg Popovich. Brown spent nine years as an assistant under Popovich in San Antonio before joining Philadelphia as the head coach. In the previous 12 games between the two coaches, Popovich holds a 9-3 advantage over Brown. For Philadelphia, the tougher game of the back-to-back comes Saturday night against Jimmy Butler’s Miami Heat, potentially persuading Brett Brown to save Embiid for that game. On the other hand the Spurs have the struggling Knicks for their B2B. Popovich will likely opt to go harder on Friday night, given the opponent and personal connection to Brett Brown. Either way, minute management will be key for the two coaches in this game.

Saturday, November 23 vs. Heat, 7:30 PM, NBCS Philadelphia

In the second of Philadelphia’s big reunions this season, Jimmy Butler returns to Wells Fargo Center as the upstart Miami Heat battle the Sixers Saturday night. Miami is off to a 9-3 start and looking strong both offensively and defensively. Their defense is good enough to be fifth in the league, only allowing 104.0 PPG. This is the second game of a back-to-back for the Heat as well, who come in from Chicago on Friday night. Butler leads Miami with 18.4 PPG and will pose a challenge defensively for Tobias Harris all night. Assuming he plays Saturday night, Joel Embiid will be a game changer against a team that isn’t as deep at the center position.

The Heat are helped by rookie standouts Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. Nunn has been off to a sensational start. The undrafted rookie is averaging 17.8 PPG and can be a catalyst for the Heat in this game. As with the game against San Antonio, how each coach handles the load management of the back-to-back will determine this one.

Match-up to watch: Jimmy Butler (MIA) vs. Josh Richardson (PHI) – Philadelphia got Josh Richardson in return for Jimmy Butler this summer, so it’s only natural that the two are compared when they play. It’s been said that while Butler has more to offer now, Richardson’s defensive capability and room to grow as a scorer gives him a higher ceiling.

Philadelphia is fortunate to have a home stretch this week. The team’s road struggles would not bode well with this list of opponents at this point in the season. That being said, the Sixers have the pieces to go 3-0 this week.

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About Dave Pedron

As a Pennsylvania native, Penn State grad, and diehard Sixers fan, I'm very excited to cover the team and usher in the next chapter of the Process.

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