The Philadelphia 76ers are set to face the Brooklyn Nets in their final regular season meeting, and it will be the first time the two teams have faced each other since swapping James Harden and Ben Simmons.
Will the 76ers continue with their perfect record with James Harden on the floor? Or will Kyrie Irving follow up his recent 50-piece with another big performance? Catch this game live on March 11, at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
Away: Brooklyn Nets (33-33, 20-15 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyrie Irving
- SG: Seth Curry
- SF: Bruce Brown
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Andre Drummond
The Brooklyn Nets are far from where they envisioned themselves to be this late in the season. With a 33-33 record, they’re looking at the play-ins in an ultra-competitive Eastern Conference. Kyrie Irving has shown that he’s still a brilliant basketball player, though, and his 50 points on 19 shots in his previous game against the Hornets is nothing to sneeze at.
Having Kevin Durant back in the lineup never hurts, either, and the 29.1 PPG scorer doesn’t shy away from big games. There isn’t really anyone on the 76ers lineup that can handle his mix of height and skill, so I think he’s more likely to have a big night than Irving.
Andre Drummond, who had been having a great season as Joel Embiid’s backup, now gets to face his former teammate. Drummond is strong and could frustrate Embiid, although he’s going to have a hard time completely shutting down the Cameroonian.
The real X-Factor for the Nets might be Seth Curry. With all of the attention on Irving and Durant, Curry might find himself wide open for a lot of threes. His deadeye shooting is what the Nets will need should Irving or Durant have a slow night from the field.
The Nets have been in the middle of the pack with an ATS record of 19-15-1 as the away team this season. They’re 34-31 on the over/under.
Home: Philadelphia 76ers (40-24, 21-11 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Tyrese Maxey
- SG: James Harden
- SF: Matisse Thybulle
- PF: Tobias Harris
- C: Joel Embiid
The big question will be who on the Nets can guard James Harden. The former Net has been causing defenses fits in the five games he’s played in Philadelphia, and he draws attention from all defenders whenever he’s handling the ball. That, in turn, has translated into the rest of the Sixers getting open looks that they’re not used to, which has gotten everyone involved. Harden should be on pace to have another big game from a ball distribution standpoint, and he might be the key to victory even if he doesn’t break the 20-point barrier.
Joel Embiid will have his moment against Andre Drummond, even though the former Sixer might frustrate Embiid at some points in the night. Embiid, who had 43 points against a Chicago Bulls team that was missing Nikola Vucevic, will step up to the challenge. I wouldn’t think Embiid will break the 40-point mark again, but he’s still going to be a force down low.
The Sixers are 13-19 ATS ast the home team, and an identical 13-19 on the over/under as the home team, but most of those came before the Harden era.
Spread: The 76ers have played sublime basketball whenever James Harden has been on the floor so far, and I think that the 76ers will cover -4.5.
Over/Under: With Harden, Embiid, Irving and Durant on the floor, you’d think that it would be a non-stop scorefest. I’ve got a feeling that both teams will have to work a little harder to score in a heated game, though and am going with the Under 229.5.