The penultimate recreation of the 18-8 Sixers’ West Coast street journey is a day matchup in opposition to the 15-9 Suns, who’ve received 4 straight contests and 7 of eight.
Listed here are the necessities for in the present day’s recreation:
- When: 3 p.m. EST with Sixers Pregame Dwell at 2 p.m.
- The place: Phoenix Suns Area
- Broadcast: NBC Sports activities Philadelphia
- Dwell stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app
And listed here are three storylines to observe:
Scott set to return
Mike Scott, who’s been out since Jan. 14 with a proper knee harm, is out there to play. His presence would possibly enable head coach Doc Rivers to take a couple of minutes off Tobias Harris’ plate, since he’s been asking Harris to play extra with the second unit throughout Scott’s absence. Harris has averaged 35.6 minutes per recreation over the Sixers’ final 12 video games, and he’s totaled practically 79 minutes over the primary two video games of this street journey.
Shake Milton will miss a second consecutive recreation due to a left ankle sprain. Rivers discovered his bench’s lack of group with out Milton in Thursday night time’s loss to the Blazers “actually disappointing.”
Phoenix’s Dario Saric (left ankle sprain), Abdel Nader (left ankle soreness) and Cameron Payne (proper foot sprain) are all questionable, although Suns head coach Monty Williams stated pregame it appears to be like like all three will play.
Will Sixers maintain blitzing?
Ben Simmons can solely guard one participant at a time, as Rivers famous Thursday, so how will the Sixers defender the Suns’ backcourt of Devin Booker and Chris Paul?
In 10 profession video games in opposition to the Sixers, Booker has averaged 29.1 factors and 4.6 assists, and he’s shot 47 % from three-point vary. Paul additionally occurs to have been a extremely efficient long-range shooter in opposition to the Sixers through the years at 45.8 %.
We anticipate Simmons to start out on Booker and Danny Inexperienced to start on the 35-year-old Paul, though Simmons confirmed Thursday that he’s completely able to defending small, shifty guards along with his protection on Damian Lillard. It will likely be fascinating to see the Sixers’ method in pick-and-roll protection given Paul’s mastery in that world and Booker’s deep vary. The group blitzed usually in Portland, placing quite a bit on Joel Embiid’s plate defensively.
“I assumed we had been fairly good with it general,” Rivers stated. “I believe it’s exhausting, truthfully, for Joel, and I used to be involved with that. I assumed our again aspect was common. I assumed the place we obtained harm was as soon as we obtained matched up and so they shot it, after which they obtained offensive rebounds. I assumed their offensive rebounds crushed us tonight.”
Phoenix isn’t an distinctive rebounding group (twenty second in offensive rebounding share, per Cleansing the Glass), so the Sixers shouldn’t have issues in that division no matter their defensive method.
A 3-point concern
Whereas the Sixers weren’t a foul three-point capturing group final season by way of share, they merely didn’t try many threes relative to the remainder of the league. That’s remained the case this 12 months regardless of the offseason additions of Seth Curry and Danny Inexperienced.
The group is twenty seventh in three-point frequency (30.5 %), based on Cleansing the Glass. Phoenix, in the meantime is sixth in three-point frequency (36.3 %).
Whereas this may be a problem president of basketball Daryl Morey decides to deal with earlier than the commerce deadline, the Sixers within the brief time period seemingly can’t afford the dramatic three-point disparity that harm them Thursday. The Blazers tried and made 11 extra threes than the Sixers.