Philadelphia 76ers face a tough challenge Wednesday at home, as the scorching Phoenix Suns visit Joel Embiid and company at Wells Fargo Center. Will the Sixers trip up Phoenix? Or, will the Suns add Philly to their growing list of victims this season?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, February 9, at 8 AM, Manila time.
Away: Phoenix Suns (43-10/21-5 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: Deandre Ayton
After a relatively silent performance in a 95-80 win against the Washington Wizards, Devin Booker came out like a house on fire Tuesday to lead the Suns to a 127-124 victory in Windy City over the Chicago Bulls. Booker simply couldn’t be stopped by the Bulls, scoring 38 points on 14/23 shooting from the field and 5/6 from deep. The Suns, however, are a whole lot more than just Booker. Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton complete Phoenix’s holy triumvirate. Of the three, it’s Ayton who likely will play the biggest role versus the Sixers, as he’ll be mainly tasked to contain Joel Embiid.
Ayton also has the capabilities to make Embiid work on the other side of the ball. Against the Bulls, Ayton had 13 points and nine rebounds. The Suns also still have JaVale McGee and Bismack Biyombo to make sure there’s always a big body to constantly bother Embiid. Phoenix’s frontline has just limited Nikola Vucevic to only 13 points on 6/15 shooting. Even the Sixers’ shooters could have a hard time getting off shots against the Suns, who are holding opponents to only 33.6 3FG% — fifth-best make in the NBA this season. The Suns are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven road games.
Home: Philadelphia 76ers (32-21/14-11 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Tyrese Maxey
- SG: Seth Curry
- SF: Danny Green
- PF: Tobias Harris
- C: Joel Embiid
Like the Suns, Philadelphia is coming off a win against the Chicago Bulls, outlasting DeMar DeRozan and co. in a 119-108 win in Windy City last Monday. That victory prevented Philly from losing three games in a row, restoring their confidence just in time for a marquee matchup at home against the league-leading Suns. Embiid smoked the Bulls for 40 points and 10 rebounds.
There are really not many opponents can do to take Embiid completely out of the equation. Surrounded by shooters, Embiid finds himself a lot on single coverages at the post with a number of options to kick the ball out. The Sixers are 10th overall with a 35.8 3FG%. They also have the same rank in terms of true shooting percentage (57.0%). Moreover, Philadelphia draws significant points from the charity stripe, thanks in large part to Embiid again. The Sixers are fourth in the NBA with 16.3% of their points coming from free throws. Philadelphia enters Wednesday’s game having covered the spread in five of its last 10 games as the home team.
Spread: The Suns got the tools to neutralize Philly’s shooters. Embiid is going to be a problem for Phoenix, but he could be slowed down here by a deep Suns frontcourt. Taking the Suns (+2.0).
Over/Under: The Suns are a bit tired coming off a game Tuesday, so they might play a bit slower here. Looking at an Under (216.5) hit for the total in this game.