All eyes on Embiid & Harden as Sixers take on Cavs in game 2 of preseason

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CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 06: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) waits for the play to set during a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Bulls on February 6, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Wells Fargo Center in their second game of the preseason, Wednesday night at 7PM. The Sixers return home after eight days on the road, spending training camp in Charleston, SC, and playing Monday’s game in Brooklyn. The Sixers won their game Monday against the Nets 127-108 in a game without Joel Embiid, James Harden, PJ Tucker, and Daniel House.

The Cleveland Cavs have not played a game in the preseason yet, which mean means this will be the debut of Donovan Mitchell in a Cavs uniform. Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavs for Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round draft picks, and two pick swaps. Mitchell’s arrival helps raise the ceiling of an already up-and-coming team that just missed the playoffs last season. The Cavaliers were a top 5 team in the Eastern Conference for much of last season until the injury bug hit them late. Take a look at three things to watch for in tonight’s matchup:

New Look Cavs Backcourt

This game will be the first time we get a look at the Cavaliers new backcourt of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell. Darius Garland was dynamic last season and really was the engine of the Cavs’ offense. With the addition of Mitchell, how will the two mesh together offensively? Mitchell likes to have the ball in his hand as well, working in the pick and roll. Will Garland adjust well playing off the ball? The duo will also have to answer questions about their defense as well.

Will Embiid and Harden Play?

In the Sixers’ first preseason game, they played without their two stars, Joel Embiid and James Harden. They will obviously need a tune-up before the season starts, it’s just a matter of when they will play.

Sixers fans are anxious to see Harden in action after many offseason stories about how his burst has returned and how in shape he is. Fans are also ready to see Embiid in action and get a glimpse of what he added to his repertoire this offseason. If we get a chance to either in action, Head Coach Doc Rivers won’t have them out there for long.

The Battle Continues

The ongoing battle for a spot on the regular season roster continues in this matchup against the Cavs. Isaiah Joe, Charles Bassey, and Trevelin Queen all played well in Monday’s matchup with the Nets but Queen was injured on a fall where he hit his head. Rivers will more than likely continue to give each player minutes if they are available to allow for a chance to play themselves into a roster spot. Ultimately, Joe has the best chance to stick around as he has potential as a movement shooter and 2-way player. Bassey and Queen have uphill battles with the depth at the wing and at the center position.

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Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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