Three things to watch for in tonight’s Sixers-Pistons showdown

NBA: MAR 01 76ers at Clippers
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 01: Philadelphia 76ers Forward Mike Scott (1) celebrates with Philadelphia 76ers Guard Shake Milton (18) during a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Potential trap game for the Sixers?

Following a triumphant pair of wins over the Boston Celtics, the first-place Sixers head up north to Detroit to take on the 3-12 Detroit Pistons. After a messy, messy offseason (shoutout to @ZCiavoPSN), the Pistons have really struggled to show any sort of rhythm this year.

Throw in the fact that both Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin are currently listed as “OUT” on the injury report, and this is a game that the Sixers should be able to coast to victory in… or is it?

This screams of a “trap game”

Outside of a few hiccups here and there, the Sixers have looked like a commanding force in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid looks like the best player in basketball, Tobias Harris is playing like an All-Star, and guys like Seth Curry, Danny Green, and Dwight Howard have quickly filled crucial roles for the team.

Technically speaking, the Sixers are undefeated when their entire starting five plays.

With all that in mind, tonight feels like a trap game kinda vibe. Embiid is currently listed as “questionable”, so there’s a good chance he won’t be suiting up tonight, and the Sixers are known to not get up for road games, especially against lesser opponents. All of this points to a game that could be closer than anticipated.

Simmons hitting his stride?

After the James Harden trade talks fell through, Ben Simmons has been one of the most criticized players in the NBA. He wasn’t helping his case with a few less-than-ideal performances, and Embiid’s stellar play has only stirred the pot further in regards to Daryl More potentially shipping out Ben for a “win-now” type of player.

However, Simmons finally came to life last night against Boston. He finished the game with a 15 point double-double, scoring 11 in the fourth quarter down the stretch. Especially with Embiid potentially resting tonight, now would be another great time for Simmons to remind everyone why he’s a 2x All-Star.

Former Sixer Jerami Grant!

The former “Process Sixers” legend himself, Philly will get to see Jerami Grant in action tonight for the first time as a member of the Detroit Pistons. The 26-year-old forward signed a massive $60 million contract this past offseason, embracing the role of being the Pistons’ “star” player.

Grant is currently averaging a career-high 25 points per game. With Rose and Griffin out, stopping the former 76er is pretty much all Doc Rivers and company should be worried about tonight.

Tip-off is at 8 PM ET.

Photo Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire