The Philadelphia 76ers won the first meeting in Philly, 126-119, with Joel Embiid putting on a show. This time, the Nuggets play host, as Jokic and company are eager for revenge.
Catch the game tomorrow at 9:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Denver Nuggets (50-24, 31-6 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Jamal Murray
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Aaron Gordon
- Nikola Jokic
The Nuggets extended their good stretch on Sunday courtesy of a 129-106 trampling of the Milwaukee Bucks. It was their fourth win in five games in yet another great effort on both ends. The usual suspects led the way, with Nikola Jokic scoring 31 points, Jamal Murray adding 26, and the two combining for 20 assists.
They need all the momentum they can get as they aim to avenge the January loss to the Sixers, where they just couldn’t stop Joel Embiid. What made it worse was Jokic (24.9 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 9.9 APG) and Murray (22.4 PPG, 8.2 APG in his last 5) were also offensively quiet in the all-important fourth quarter, mustering a measly seven points in the frame together.
Following the duo is Michael Porter Jr. He is the likely key third scorer once again as he has 19.3 PPG on 55.7% shooting in his last 13 outings.
Denver is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last games. In that stretch, the team is tallying 116.8 points per game with a +11.2 net rating, shooting 41.9% from downtown and 52% overall. It should be a good clash to Philly’s defensive-minded squad.
AWAY: Philadelphia 76ers (49-25, 23-14 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- James Harden (day-to-day) / DeAnthony Melton
- Tyrese Maxey
- Tobias Harris
- PJ Tucker
- Joel Embiid
The Sixers appear to be slowing down following their eight-game winning streak earlier in the month. They are now just 1-3 in their last four contests (averaging just 109.5 PPG) with the last one being a 20-point blowout in the hands of the Kevin Durant and DeAndre Ayton-less Phoenix Suns.
Make no mistake about it, though: Joel Embiid is still the monstrous, top-tier MVP candidate that he is. He has 33.3 PPG on the season, dishing out an almost automatic 30-piece every game. In fact, in that previous win against the Nuggets, he exploded for 47 points (12 in the 4th) on top of an all-around statline of 18 boards, five assists, three steals, and two blocks. We should see a similar aggressiveness tomorrow, especially with co-star James Harden possibly out again due to an achilles injury.
As always, Tyrese Maxey is the second scorer whenever Harden is asbent. He has 26.4 PPG over his last five games, seven higher than his regular season average. Tobias Harris, the third option in this scenario, has had a lukewarm season, but he has scored 20 or more in three of his last five outings.
They are 5-2 in their last seven road games ATS.
PREDICTION:Handicap: The Nuggets (-5) win and cover the spread.