3 Key Storylines to Look Out for During Sixers-Mavericks

Sixers C Joel Embiid
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) looks toward the net during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Coming off a shaky road win over the Raptors, the Sixers will look to keep their momentum churning against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.

The Sixers won their first road win against the Raptors since way back when Doug Collins was the team’s head coach. The Sixers are looking to keep that momentum going against a Dallas Mavericks squad that hasn’t exactly impressed this season.

Despite all the hype that surrounded their team last year, combined with the addition of former 76er Josh Richardson on draft night, Dallas is just 15-15 at the moment.

While the Mavs’ below-average record may give off the impression that this is a game Philly should dominate, facing off against Luka Doncic (who is averaging 28.9 points per game) is never an easy task.

Sixers-Mavericks Key Storylines

Battle of the MVP candidates

They won’t be guarding each other tonight, but the scoring battle that is set to take place between Joel Embiid and Doncic should dominate the game’s flow.

Embiid ranks third in scoring in the NBA with 29.8 points per game, and Doncic ranks fifth. Both are considered legitimate MVP candidates, with Embiid edging out Doncic at the moment in terms of power rankings.

For the first time this season, Embiid actually looked mortal during the Sixers’ two-game series against Toronto. He shot 27.3% over the course of both games (9-33), showing that he still hasn’t really adapted to handling double (and sometimes even triple) teams.

Doncic, on the other hand, will likely be guarded by Ben Simmons and Danny Green for the majority of the evening. Just recently named an All-Star for the third straight year, Simmons is having himself a really strong season, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Doc Rivers and the Sixers will be expecting him to appropriately slow down Luka.

Josh Richardson revenge game?

Traded after just one season in Philadelphia, is Josh Richardson set to make the Sixers “pay” for their decision to move off the six-year pro???

Eh, probably not.

Richardson is averaging just 12.9 points per game while barely shooting over 43% from the field. His 3P% has plummeted all the way down to 31.2%, and his win shares per 48 minutes ranking are at a career-worst .052.

It’s worth highlighting that he could be playing with some added energy against his former team tonight. Still, it’s highly doubtful that he’s a guy the Sixers are all that worried about.

Another “tryout” for Furkan?

Less than a week ago, Doc Rivers had all but announced that Furkan Korkmaz would no longer be apart of the team’s rotation.

Then he dropped 19 points in just 28 minutes of action against the Raptors on Tuesday.

At this moment, Seth Curry‘s availability for tonight’s game is still not set, but expect Korkmaz to get some more action regardless.

Not only is his three-point shooting much needed on a team that still can’t appropriately space the floor, but a couple of good performances over the next couple of days could definitely increase his trade value.

Sixers Tip-Off

The Sixers and Mavericks will square off tonight with a 7:00 PM EST tip. The team is back on national TV as the game will be featured on TNT. You can also listen as always on 97.5 FM The Fanatic.

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