The Knicks return to the court for the first time after all of the trade deadline drama as they face off with the Sixers in Philadelphia Friday night.
New York was able to defeat Orlando on Tuesday and then all hell broke loose as the Knicks were among numerous teams who made big moves at the trade deadline in the days afterwards.
For anyone that is nice and cozy under a rock, the Knicks traded Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailuik and a protected 2023 first round pick to Portland to receive Josh Hart. The Knicks were also in talked to potentially acquire Zach LaVine from the Chicago Bulls, but a deal was not completed.
Hart is day-to-day for this game as he along with new NBA and former Villanova teammate Jalen Brunson return to the “City of Brotherly Love” for the first time as professional teammates after all of their college success together. Ironically, Arcidiacono, another Villanova legend, goes the other way in the Hart trade. He was teammates with both Hart and Brunson on the 2016 NCAA Tournament Championship team for the Wildcats.
If Hart plays, it will be exciting to see what he can bring to a Knicks team that is playing better of late. Coupled with the fact that all of the recent wheeling and dealing could see a path to a top five seed in the NBA playoffs emerge, these next few months could present some big opportunities to the Knicks.
Joel Embiid is also day-to-day for this game for the Sixers who will be looking for some payback after New York came back from 21 points down to beat the Knicks at MSG on Sunday.
With a win tonight, the Knicks could also win the season series over the Sixers for the first time since the 2015-16 season when New York swept the regular season slate of games. Recently, the Knicks have had some statement wins and if you add some Hart into the mix we might see more of that in the future too.
The status of both Hart and Embiid matter a lot to a potential prediction so assuming both guys are ready to go I will still pick the Sixers to win this game. It takes time to integrate new players who will play big roles on a team into a system and Philly wants some get back. Brunson having his jersey retired at Villanova will certainly add some motivation for him to do well, but I think the Sixers will take it and salvage a series split in the regular season.
We will have the coverage as always on the site so join for the tip at 7 p.m. tonight!