The Philadelphia Sixers (5-0) are looking to ride their momentum following a buzzer-beater three to beat the Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Their next test is against the red-hot Phoenix Suns (4-2) on Monday night. The game will tip-off at 9 p.m. EST, with coverage beginning at 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Radio coverage will be on 97.5 The Fanatic.
The Sixers are 1.5 point favorites on the road, with the over/under set at 223.
The New Phoenix Suns
The Suns only have one winning season since 2010. During this span, they have had eight (yes, eight!) different head coaches running the team.
This season, they have former Sixers’ assistant coach Monty Williams at the helm. So far, he sports a 4-2 record with the young Suns team.
After a July trade this past offseason, Dario Saric found his way into the starting lineup for the Suns. The Former Sixer is averaging 9.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists this season in 27.7 minutes per game. The 6.5 rebounds lead his team as well.
Oh, do I miss Dario, but do I enjoy being 5-0 even more.
The 2019 Suns are blazing
The Suns are off to their best record to start a season since Steve Nash made his first appearance in Phoenix. Last season, Phoenix didn’t see its second win of the year until Nov. 4, a two-point victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Now, through six games this season the Suns look like a complete playoff contender. They hold a second-best in the NBA 8.5 net rating and +55 scoring differential.
As you can see, they are not a team to overlook anymore.
Enemy to Watch: Aron Baynes
Joel Embiid is out again, serving the latter half of his two-game suspension. Aron Baynes has always been one of those random kryptonite’s of Embiid, slowing him while a member of the Celtics.
However, that matchup will not continue Monday night. Baynes will look to line up against former teammate Al Horford in the paint to start the game. Being brought in to start until Deandre Ayton comes back from suspension, Baynes has filled his role tremendously. So far, the Suns’ big man is posting a career-high 15 points per game, adding 5.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
The Sixers are doing a great job of playing “bully ball,” and will need to continue that trend to exploit Baynes’ defensive struggles.
Your Philadelphia 76ers are undefeated. They are the only undefeated team in the NBA.
This will continue through Monday night, and they will become 6-0.
Phoenix does boast an impressive win over the Clippers. Don’t get me wrong, this current Suns team is improved ten-fold. However, they will not match up well against the Sixers.
The Suns average 28.3 assists per game, which is second in the NBA. The Sixers, on the other hand, are stacked defensively. It can not be stressed enough. The way that they clog passing lanes, guard off the ball, rebound, everything is stellar. The Suns can pass all they want, but Josh Richardson, Ben Simmons, and Matisse Thybulle will steal their passes all night long.
Do not expect this game to be high-intensity and high scoring. Assuming the Sixers pay special attention to natural scorer Devin Booker, the Suns will struggle to score from beyond the arc. The Sixers will win this one handily and hold momentum the whole way, finishing with a final score of 122-107.
Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports