Shorthanded Sixers Look to Stay Hot Against Rival Knicks

NBA: MAR 01 76ers at Clippers
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 01: Philadelphia 76ers Forward Tobias Harris (12) looks on 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)

The Sixers start the second game of a back-to-back, this time against Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and the New York Knicks.

Following their emphatic 129-105 victory over the Kings, the Sixers head to New York to take on the Knicks in the second of back-to-back games for the squad. Victors of eight of their last ten, last night’s win was especially impressive for the Sixers since they did so without the services of Joel Embiid once again.

Embiid, of course, was expected to be out as he recovers from the scary knee injury he sustained against the Wizards. Ben Simmons was a surprise late scratch from the lineup in last night’s game against the Kings with a sore knee but is probable for tonight.

Despite adjusting on the fly, the makeshift Sixers unit handled the middling Kings effortlessly, erupting for nearly 130 points of offense. “No Ben, no Joel, and no Seth, and we score 129 points?” Sixers, HC Doc Rivers said. “I think that says a lot about this team.”


Can Harris Do It Again?

Now, the East-leading Sixers will look to stay hot as they take on the Knicks. This will be the second matchup in less than a week between the two storied franchises. In their last encounter, the Sixers squeezed out a 99-96 home victory over the Knicks.

The star of that game, Tobias Harris, who erupted for 30 points, will look to lead the charge once again in tonight’s matchup even with the likely return of Ben Simmons.

On the other side of the court, the Knicks are a modest 6-4 in their last ten games and remain in the thicket of the playoff hunt in a crowded Eastern Conference landscape. Given how closely the team played the Sixers in their last matchup, I’d expect this one to be a dogfight as well.


Sixers/Knicks Injury Report

Sixers

Joel Embiid will, of course, be out once again as he recovers from a knee injury. Sharpshooter Seth Curry will also be sidelined as he nurses a left ankle sprain. Again Ben Simmons is currently listed as “probable” but that could certainly change between now and tip-off.

Knicks

Guards Immanuel Quickley (ankle) and Derrick Rose (COVID-19 protocols) will not suit up in tonight’s matchup. Avoiding these two dynamic guards is a huge boost for a shorthanded Sixers roster that could use a bit of fortune. The Knicks will also be without the services of Austin Rivers, who seems to be lobbying for a trade out of NY as they face his father’s club.


Tip-Off

Tonight’s game will tip-off at 8:00PM EST. You can catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBA League Pass. You can also listen live as always at 97.5FM The Fanatic.

Look for Tobias Harris to have another big night tonight and show the league once again that he should have been an All-Star.

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