With another disappointing game against the Toronto Raptors in the books, the Sixers will try to get back on track when the Sacramento Kings come to town. Joel Embiid in particular needs a bounce-back game as his zero-point performance against the Raptors quickly became a national story.
Know your enemy
Sacramento is a team currently hurting missing both speedy guard De’Aaron Fox and second-year big man Marvin Bagley III. In the meanwhile, the Kings have made due thanks to a few players stepping up. One of those players, Bogdan Bogdanovic, is listed as probable so it looks like he will play, but injuries may hold him out as well.
Currently 7-9 on the young NBA season, the Kings are flirting with a playoff spot. Regaining some of those injured players would certainly help but give the Kings credit for having a record of 4-3 without both Fox and Bagley. The Kings have long been a laughingstock in the NBA but the organization seems to finally be turning things around.
Keys to the game
The Kings have one solid post defender (Dewayne Dedmon). It should not be too difficult, work the ball down low and space the half-court offense with shooters. This recipe should be used more often even if all it does is give Embiid practice passing out of double teams.
Embiid has a chance to dominate in this game by scoring in the post and by drawing contact. Richaun Holmes is averaging over four fouls a game while Dedmon is averaging 2.4 in under 15 minutes. This screams rebound game for Embiid in a situation where he can have 10+ attempts at the line.
The paint is where Embiid should thrive tonight against questionable completion.
Slow down shooters
Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Harrison Barnes have all played above expectations. All scoring more than 15 points per game and all shooting higher than 39.5% from three. The Sixers need solid outside defense to seal this win and they have the personality to do it. Matisse Thybulle and James Ennis are two players who should see quality minutes as two of the top perimeter defenders on the team.
Limit the threes and let the Kings try to win in the paint and above all play smart. By design the Sixers have a tendency to overcommit on defense, this should be reigned in every night but especially against a team like Sacramento. Playing smart defense on screens will limit opportunity. Don’t over commit and be smart about switching coverage.
Coverage begins at 6:30 PM EST and tipoff is at 7:00 PM. Watch on NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live on 97.5 FM the Fanatic.
Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports