The 76ers have headed down to Charlotte to take on the Hornets and have an opportunity to extend their 4 game winning streak. This is the first game of a back to back in which they will host the Celtics tomorrow night. It is extremely important that they do not overlook the Hornets. Philly is 3-0 vs Charlotte right now, but there is more behind this scoreboard.
Head to Head
Each one of these game has been decided by 3 points or less. Two of them going into overtime. What is also is interesting is that these two teams haven’t played since November 17th. The 76ers have a completely different looking team and a lot more on the line. This team is now 45-25, and coming off of a HUGE win vs the Bucks. The Hornets are 31-38 and are coming off a bad loss to Miami.
What to look for
This is a perfect example of can the 76ers dominate a bad team and not overlook them. Boston is just on the horizon, but this is the more important game right now. With a win tonight the team would be able to keep their 1.5 game advantage over the Pacers. The Pacers play at the Clippers tonight and could have a slip up. This is a huge opportunity for the Sixers lead to grow.
Additionally, there is no Joel Embiid tonight. This team has more talent on the floor and should win this game. Look for Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris to handle a majority of the scoring tonight. Typically when Embiid is out, Simmons is due for a big night all around. More space in the paint, board to grab etc.
Kemba is going to get his 25 points tonight, and may have to due a little more due to the circumstances. But this game isn’t about the Hornets. This is clearly about if the 76ers can handle business tonight like they should, and set up for a big time match vs Boston.
Looking at the game tonight and the history of these team, my gut says it is going to be a closer game then it should be. Not having Embiid is the sole reason of that. If this game was earlier in the year id say a possible overtime type of battle, but these team are going to be strangers at this point.
I’m going to say Philly is able to complete the sweep of the series with a 98-93 win tonight. Ben Simmons will have a triple double, Harris and Butler with 20 points at least, and Mike Scott will have a big night off the bench. I will not be shocked if the Sixers are sluggish out of the gate, but by midway through the second this game will be back in their hands.
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports