Game preview: Sixers hoping for a ‘Thunderous’ end to 2022

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Sixers
Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, left, and James Harden watch a free-throw attempt during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Well, here we go again. The Sixers are playing against a 15-20 team to end the year having lost their past two games and will be trying to end the year on a positive note against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Sixers vs Thunder game info

Who: Sixers (20-14) @ Thunder (15-20)

When: 8:00 EST

Where: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK.

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The same story will keep coming up as the Sixers have relied too much on their stars and struggle to rotate the lineup. Last night, injured power forward PJ Tucker had 28 minutes. After reports that he had a “procedure” on his knee in mid-November and that he’s been battling a hand injury, he amassed 5 points and 3 rebounds in 28 minutes against the Pelicans. how much longer can this go on?

Injury Report

Tyrese Maxey – OUT

James Harden – QUESTIONABLE

PJ Tucker – QUESTIONABLE

Philadelphia saw the return of star guard Tyrese Maxey against the Pelicans and he contributed 19 points and one rebound and assist. He shot 40% from the field and 1-3 from the three-point line. While it’s good to see Maxey back in the Sixers rotation, the team needs more from their bench. They seemed to be in playoff bench mode with Maxey having 19 minutes, Georges Niang 25 minutes, and Shake Milton just 13 minutes.

Oklahoma City comes in featuring guard Shai Gilegious-Alexander, averaging 31.5 points per game, which is good enough for third in the league behind Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic. The Thunder have a young and exciting lineup but only four players averaging over ten points per game. This should be the game that gets the Sixers back on the winning track.

With James Harden, Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton, and Tobias Harris all over 30 minutes in last nights game and PJ Tucker and Georges Niang, close to 30 minutes, you have to wonder If Sixers head coach Doc Rivers will ever understand the meaning of rotation or team depth.

The Sixers may finish the 2022 calendar year with a loss. Here’s hoping that the new year brings new beginnings in the city of Philadelphia.

Prediction: Sixers 113 – Thunder 121

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