After a spectacular 3-0 start for the 76ers, with all three wins coming against Eastern Conference foes, they now embark on a five-game Western Conference battle. First on that list? The similarly undefeated Minnesota Timberwolves (3-0).
The Wednesday night match-up kicks off at 7:00 PM EST tonight and will be at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. The 76ers are favored to win at -6.5.
Both teams can’t stay undefeated, star power down low will decide this one as Philly moves to 4-0.
How does that old saying go? “When an immovable object meets an unstoppable force?” That seems to be precisely what we have on our hands tonight. Both teams are perfect through three games, both teams have won close ball-games against good teams, and both teams are led by extremely talented bigs.
Karl-Anthony Towns unsurprisingly is leading the charge for the Timberwolves, averaging 32 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game so far this season. Minnesota somewhat put the league on notice in their season opener, knocking off the new-look Brooklyn Nets 127-126 in overtime.
Despite all that, at the end of the day, something has to give. And historically speaking, Joel Embiid has simply dominated Towns. Embiid is 4-1 in head to head matchups against the Minnesota big man and has managed to outscore him in every single game.
The last matchup between the two centers in January resulted in a 149-107 victory for Philly. Embiid scored 31 compared to “KAT’s” meager 13.
Stories to Watch
Process-era Sixers legend Robert Covington aka “RoCo” makes his return to Philly tonight. While he never truly lived up to his potential during his 4.5 seasons as a Sixer, expect a very warm welcome for the versatile winger. Him versus rookie Matisse Thybulle should be awesome to watch if they do indeed match up with each other at all.
Shooting from beyond the arc has been a problem early for Philly and Minnesota alike, as both teams are shooting around 30% from three. Whoever wins the battle from the perimeter tonight could very well win the game along with it.
JoJo v KAT
As mentioned earlier, this is obviously the headline of the evening. Towns versus Embiid has been a matchup talked about since the first time they played each other way back in 2016. Embiid will be sure to have his trash-talking skills on full display as he attempts to bully Towns both physically and mentally.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports