The Sixers (27-16) come to town on the second night of a back to back. Last night they dispatched the Bulls at home and they’re hoping for a little more of the same with the Knicks (11-31) on the road. New York has been getting rolled over pretty easily of late but they’ve battled the Sixers reasonably well this season. In part it seems like the front office may have liked or feared what the Sixers were doing with their roster and tried to emulate it a little bit. Both team prefer to go super big and they lack the floor spacing of some of the peppier teams we see around the league these days. Some veritable zags in a time of zigs.
New York has been so ragged defensively that most of their games have felt like 6-on-5 lately. Hopefully tonight’s match up gives the Knicks an advantage somewhere.
The Sixers will be rolling without their crown jewel, Joel Embiid, who has been out after having his finger permed by Steven Adams in Oklahoma City. Just as the Knicks were getting healthy with Frank Ntilikina and Marcus Morris returning, RJ Barrett went down with a badly sprained ankle. Reggie Bullock is probable to return after a one game absence. Dennis Smith Jr. remains sidelined.
Keys & Predictions
The Knicks have had a lot of trouble keeping streaky shooters from getting hot and something tells me Furkan Korkmaz will keep his hot shooting going tonight. Especially if Allonzo Trier and Kevin Knox are pressed into more action in the second unit with Barrett out.
Did you know that Elfrid Payton is 9th amongst guards in contested 3s per game? Won’t have to worry about that against Ben Simmons. Simmons will still strangle everything Payton tries to do.
Knicks by -29.
Warm Up Music
It’s possible the Knicks are so bad for so long that I am going to lose my mind sooner or later. If this basketball writing thing doesn’t work out...