The Philadelphia 76ers (48-30) look to take on Tyrese Haliburton, and the Indiana Pacers (25-54) Tuesday night in Indiana. After finally clinching a playoff spot Sunday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Sixers look ahead to gain momentum in the standings, as they currently sit at the 4th place seed.
- T.J. McConnell: Questionable (Wrist)
- Malcolm Brogdon: Questionable (Back)
- Chris Duarte: Out (Toe)
- Gaga Bitadze: Questionable (foot)
- Myles Turner: Out (foot)
- T.J. Warren: Out (foot)
- Ricky Rubio: Out (knee)
The Indiana Pacers are looking at one of their worst seasons in almost 30 years. The team has always remained a fighting dog in the Eastern Conference in previous seasons, but this year the team was plagued with injury after an injury resulting in a lowly 13th place in the East. On the upside, the Pacers can look forward to an exciting draft night after their disappointing season.
It was announced Sunday that Chris Duarte will remain out with a left big toe injury, which he originally injured back in February and has been pestering him ever since. The 24-year-old guard emerged as a top rookie this season, averaging 13.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 2.2 APG.
The Sixers cannot totally count out the Pacers, even though they have officially knocked themselves out of any play-in game dreams they had. The Sixers have a history of overlooking lowly seeded teams and letting themselves get lazy (i.e., last week’s disappointing loss against the Pistons). If the Sixers keep their energy high off the jump and get a sizable lead early on, they can put the Pacers to rest.
Within the last week, Joel Embiid saw his MVP Vegas odds fall, as his western counterpart in Nikola Jokic became the favorite. Currently, Jokic is sitting at -300, with Embiid at +230. Jokic has been on an absolute tear these last few games, producing numbers like 31.6 PPG, 13.2 RPG, and shooting 65% from the field. That’s impressive; there is no denying that. It is amazing that NBA fans can witness two big men completely taking over the league, and both are worthy of that top honor that’s bestowed at the end of the year.
These last few games are absolutely crucial for Embiid. This final stretch of games should see the 76ers undefeated, and Embiid needs to make a final push, which shouldn’t be had considering his last few games have been dominant.
Joel Embiid’s MVP consideration runs deeper than just his outstanding numbers on the court. Considering Embiid walked into this season with a soap opera-like drama on his back. He knew that if he did not step up as a leader, this team would crumble, and he did just that.
Attending team dinners, holding his teammates accountable when they played poorly (as well as himself), and being the guy in the locker room everyone could look up to. So yeah, 30.2 PPG, 11.6 RPG, and shooting 49.3% from the field should be plenty enough to win the coveted MVP award, but for Embiid, it’s more complex.
76ers/Pacers Betting Information
Per Draft Kings, the Philadelphia 76ers are heavy favorites to win tonight’s matchup.
- Spread: 76ers -11.5
- 76ers’ Moneyline: -720
- Pacers Moneyline: +500
- O/U: 233.5