Game preview: Everything you need to know ahead of Sixers vs Pistons

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Overview

The Philadelphia 76ers (1-0) head up north to Little Caesars Arena this evening to take on the Detroit Pistons (1-1). The Sixers are coming in hot off a clean season-opening 107-93 victory over the Boston Celtics, while the Pistons are looking to bounce back after a 17 point blowout loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Eastern Conference matchup tips off at 7:00PM EST, and the 76ers are favored at -5.5. Philadelphia went 3-1 against the Pistons in 2018, taking the season series between the two sides.

My Prediction

76ers win 116-88, improve to 2-0

Without going full “homer” mode and disrespecting the Pistons roster, this should be an extremely easy win for the new-look 76ers. Detroit is simply not going to be a  very competitive basketball team this year. Throw in the fact that their star PF Blake Griffin is out due to injury, it’s hard to find what this team truly does well.

Andre Drummond leads the team in scoring through two games (26.5ppg) but is sure to have his hands full with Al Horford matching up on him. Former “franchise point guard” Reggie Jackson has scored just 10 points all season, and 11-year veteran journeyman Derrick Rose has found himself thrust into a scoring position.

The 76ers flexed their defensive muscles in the win over Boston, and should no doubt continue this in Detroit tonight. Expect Ben Simmons to have his way on the offensive side of things, scoring 25+ while flirting with a triple-double.

Stories to Watch

Tobias Harris

Sixers SF Tobias Harris returns to Detroit in somewhat of a homecoming in game 2 of the 2019 season. Harris spent 3 seasons with the Pistons, yet when asked about any feelings regarding the return, he simply stated, “No I don’t have any”.

Joel Embiid

Embiid was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain earlier this week, making him “questionable” to play against the Pistons. He was upgraded to fully out Saturday morning per Serena Winters. Expect Mike Scott (having been improved to probable) or Matisse Thybulle to start in his place, with Al Horford obviously dropping down to the 5 spot.

I genuinely expect this injury to play a small role in the game’s overall flow. Horford ran the offense beautifully at the center position against Boston, and the rest of the 76ers starting five are more than capable to score on the Pistons’ defense.

Furkan Korkmaz

Korkmaz, somewhat surprisingly, logged 19 minutes in Philly’s win over the Celtics on Wednesday. Brett Brown expressed post game how he had a desire to develop him into a 3-point specialist. It will be interesting to see how he’s utilized against Detroit tonight. 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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