Philly is back and perhaps, better than ever. They are going to be bringing Al Horford off the bench, giving them good Embiid insurance and 48 minutes of solid center play. And with Ben Simmons now playing as a forward, they will have an extremely versatile lineup.
It has been a rough year and one where the 76ers are unable to win away from Philly. But this is team is healthy and ready to prove the haters wrong.
Indiana, on the other hand, received the worst possible news last week. Their All-Star Domantas Sabonis suffered a serious foot injury and had to leave the bubble to seek treatment. He is gone for the eight seeding games and likely for their eventual first-round playoff matchup as well.
As soon as they get word that Oladipo could play, they lose their new star. It has been bad news and bad luck in Indiana for the last four years, and it will take an awful lot to change that in Orlando.
ODDS: The 76ers are six-point favorites, while the over/under is set at 211.5 points.
Philly Looking To Start Strong
With Ben Simmons shifting from point guard to power forward, the 76ers may be able to unlock their full potential. Shake Milton came in and just absolutely poured the points on for several weeks prior to the league shutting down. And they added several veterans at the trade deadline to help bolster their already talented roster.
Most important about Simmons moving to power forward, is that he may be able to play point guard with the second unit. Raul Neto hasn’t had an easy time replacing TJ McConnell as backup PG, and they have a legitimate upgrade at the position. And if not, Alec Burks has proven to be more than capable of carrying that responsibility.
Joel Embiid was seen crying after the team lost to Toronto on Kawhi’s game seven shot a year ago. And this is the time for him to help lead the underdog 76ers on a redemption tour through the East. First stop, Indiana.
Pacers Trying To Surprise
With Domantas Sabonis not playing, the entire dynamic in Indy’s offense changes. They don’t have a big man to play through, and they lost their most competent interior presence, plus rebounder. He was putting up huge numbers and really made everything go.
Victor Oladipo’s return does add something nice for them as their backcourt would have been decimated with Jeremy Lamb already out. But just how healthy is he right now? He was a shell of his former shelf, showing only a few promising signs in his return games, in which he says he was less than 80% healthy. They’ll need him to be good.
And Malcolm Brogdon & TJ Warren will need to be locked in. They will need to combine for 50 points per game once the playoffs start for them to have any kind of shot. They’ll struggle tonight.
Philly wins by 10+
Make sure to bet Philadelphia -6! The 76ers new lineup will give the Pacers fits all night.
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