The Philadelphia 76ers (34-17) will be taking on the New York Knicks (28-26) in New York City at the World’s Most Famous Arena. The Sixers are looking to add to their road winning streak after defeating the San Antonio Spurs 137-125 on Friday night.
New York is coming into tonight’s matchup after an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last night with a final score of 134-128. The Knicks actually had a three-point lead in the final seconds of regulation until Nicolas Batum hit a game-tying three to send it to overtime.
Game Info for Sixers vs. Knicks
When: Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Tipoff: 6:00 PM EST
Where: New York City, NY | Madison Square Garden
How to watch: ESPN | NBC Sports Philadelphia
Will the Sixers be able to continue their win streak on the road? Will the Knicks be able to avenge their Christmas Day loss? Check out the three storylines for tonight’s game:
Will the Defense Travel?
Although the Sixers are ranked 6th in the NBA in Defensive Rating, their defense hasn’t looked the best recently. The eye test has shown that they have lacked point-of-attack defense and haven’t been as physical, stopping dribble drives. Those drives then cause rotations and over-helping, leading to more open three-pointers.
The Sixers also have a rim protection issue when Joel Embiid is not in the game. If the team can get back to playing really good perimeter defense, they will continue to rise in the defensive rankings.
Bet on Embiid Scoring Big
In the last three games against New York, Joel Embiid has averaged 33.0 ppg and 9.6 rpg. He has also kept the Knicks in foul trouble, shooting double-digit free throws in each matchup, including 27 attempts in the matchup last February. Look for the Sixers to come out and try to get Embiid involved early, with second-year center Jericho Sims starting. You can expect Embiid to parade to the free-throw line in this one making Knicks fans lose their minds.
Brunson on Fire
Julius Randle was named an All-Star reserve last Thursday for the second time in his career, but the engine that really makes the Knicks run is Jalen Brunson. The Knicks have been looking for a point guard for years and finally struck gold with Brunson. He is averaging 23.2 ppg, 6.2 apg, and 3.5 rpg and has been on fire recently. He scored 41 points against the Los Angeles Clippers, 37 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, and 29 points against the Boston Celtics. Brunson is a problem, and the Sixers need to slow him down in order to win.