A showdown between unicorns Kristaps Porzingis and Joel Embiid and two top under-25 players in the form of Luka Doncic and Ben Simmons will be front and center this Tuesday, as the Dallas Mavericks welcome the Philadelphia 76ers at American Airlines Center.
Catch this game live on Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Dallas Mavericks (29-23, 13-11 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Josh Richardson
- PF: Nico Melli
- PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- C: Kristaps Porzingis
The Mavs will look to shake off the bitter taste in their mouth left by DeMar DeRozan’s game-winning shot in Monday’s 119-117 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
The loss wasted the brilliant effort by the Mavs’ tandem of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 29 and 31 points, respectively, on a combined 22-38 shooting. Still, that’s an encouraging sign for the Mavs heading into the rematch against Philly. The Mavericks lost to Philadelphia last month on the road, 111-97, though that was when they didn’t have Porzingis because of back tightness.
His presence could loosen up Philly’s interior defense due to his ability to stretch the floor that can lure Embiid out of the paint. Conversely, Porzingis’ presence will be a big plus for the Mavs’ defense that got carved up before by the Sixers (50 points in the paint).
The Mavs are 9-1 against the spread in their last 10 games after failing to cover in the previous contest.
ROAD TEAM: Philadelphia 76ers (36-17, 16-12 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ben Simmons
- SG: Matisse Thybulle
- SG: Seth Curry
- SG: Furkan Korkmaz
- C: Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid feels like he’s still leading the MVP race. Whether that’s still true or not in the eyes of the public, what’s undeniable is his importance to Philly, which s coming off a 117-93 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last Sunday.
Embiid scored 27 points, pulled down 9 rebounds, and swatted away four shots in just 27 minutes of action. Granted that the performance was only against the lowly Thunder, Embiid is still a nightly threat to post monster numbers. In the Sixers’ win over Dallas last month, Embiid posted 23 points and 9 rebounds. He went just 5-20 from the field, but that was largely because the Mavs didn’t have any other option in stopping him outside of hacking. Embiid went 11-12 from the free-throw line in that game.
He’s definitely going to be a focal point again for Philadelphia on offense, but the Sixers still have the likes of Ben Simmons and Seth Curry to coax offense from.
Those two will be crucial for the Sixers, especially if Danny Green and Tobias Harris get ruled out again due to injuries. Take note that the Sixers are 6-1-1 in their last eight games as road favorites.
Ben Simmons made life hard for Luka Doncic in the first meeting when the Slovenian committed seven of the team’s 18 turnovers. That could be the case again this Tuesday. Take the Sixers but the Mavs to cover +2.5 in a close game.
The Mavs’ offense will be better this time around, with Porzingis in the picture, but the Sixers might play slower with Danny Green and Tobias Harris in danger of missing the game. Take the under 224.5.