Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers (31-20) take on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks (29-23) at 10:00PM tonight in Dallas. This will be the first meeting of the year for the two squads with the Sixers sweeping the Mavs (2-0) in their season series in 2021.
The 76ers are coming into this matchup after a loss at home to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. The Sixers have won 4 out of their last 5 and 12 out of the last 16. The Sixers didn’t come out with the proper energy early on and seems like they just couldn’t close out the pesky Wiz. They will have to come out with a lot more energy against the surging Dallas Mavericks to see if they can improve their 17-9 road record. The home team will be without Shake Milton (back), Furkan Kormaz (knee) and Ben Simmons (personal). Seth Curry is questionable (back).
The Mavericks started off the season slow but have been playing better as of late. They lost in their last contest to the Oklahoma City Thunder in OT in a game they should have won. Luka Doncic has been Mr. Do it all for the Mavs, leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, and steals.
Former Villanova guard Jalen Brunson has been playing well for the Mavs this season averaging a career-high in a few statistical categories. Dallas will be without Kristpas Porzingis (knee), Sterling Brown (foot), and Tim Hardaway Jr. (foot) against the Sixers.
Take a look at some things to watch for tonight:
Superstars Go Head to Head
Tonight we get a head-to-head matchup between MVP candidates Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic. NBA.com has now placed Joel Embiid atop the MVP leaderboard with Luka coming in at 9th in the top 10. We can expect both these stars to do everything in their power to will their team to a victory. Both missing a co-star, these players have had to do everything for their teams to win and that won’t change tonight.
Without Ben Simmons in the lineup, Matisse Thybulle has turned into the team’s primary wing/guard defender. He usually guards the best perimeter player on every team and has had some up and down moments this season. He has shut down Steph Curry but also had Ja Morant get the best of him. Ben Simmons was able to help make Doncic a non-factor in their meetings last season, so hopefully, Thybulle can step up to the plate and be a bully on defense.
Hot Cup of Joe
With Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton out of the lineup, Isaiah Joe has taken advantage of his most recent opportunities on court. He had 11 points against the Wizards and 10 points against the Grizzlies, including two 4-point plays. He has shot 55 percent in the last two games and is a willing shooter, building a little chemistry with Embiid. The more shots he knocks down, the more trust he will receive from the Big Fella.
You can catch tonight’s action on ESPN and 97.5 at 10:00PM.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire