The Suns are 41-16. The 76ers are 39-18. As the teams get together on Wednesday, each one is sitting pretty in the standings. When play was halted last March, it seemed impossibly unlikely that these teams could be where they currently are just 13 months later. Phoenix went 8-0 in the bubble and went out to add CP3. Philly added a championship-winning coach in Doc Rivers.
The Suns are way better than anybody thought they’d be. While Chris Paul is a monumental upgrade over Ricky Rubio (with all due respect), the fact that it made them as good as they have been is incredible. The only other major addition was Jae Crowder. They traded for Torrey Craig at the deadline, which was only done to bolster the bench a bit. This is incredible.
And after being swept by Boston in round one, the 76ers realized they had some moves to make. They went out and acquired Danny Green and Seth Curry, who can both shoot the ball incredibly well. They provided quality floor-spacing and defense. Doc has unlocked some more potential in the Ben Simmons-Joel Embiid pairing. Plus, the addition of George Hill will pay dividends come playoff time.
Odds: The 76ers, a tough team to beat at home, are -1 favorites. The over/under is set at 221.5 points.
Suns Seeking Tough Road Win
Over the past two years, the 76ers have lost only seven total games in Philly. When they are playing on their home floor, they’re very tough to beat. And even considering how good the Suns have been this entire season, this is not going to be a cakewalk. Devin Booker is going to need to bring his best, while DeAndre Ayton has his work cut out for him.
Paul and Book have complemented each other so brilliantly. They play off each other well. Each one making big plays on both ends of the floor whenever the team needs it. Mikal Bridges is coming into his own as an elite 3-and-D guy, while the other wing players in Cam Johnson and Crowder are providing good minutes.
One thing they will have to avoid is throwing Dario Saric out there against Embiid. Have Ayton match Joel’s minutes.
Philly Seeks Win No. 40
Glenn Robinson III wore #40 as a 76ers after the deadline last year. If the team can knock off the mighty Suns, they will be at 40 wins in total for the 2020-21 year. It’s been a good year for the team after going through a tough sweep against Boston in the opening round a year ago. If they played the Celtics again, they’d probably win.
Though he’s hurt right now, Tobias Harris has been vital to the team’s success. His expensive contract has been the topic of a lot of controversy. $36 million a year for a role player is a lot, but he has become a star of sorts, the second scorer after Embiid.
They’ll need to watch out for Paul and Booker.
76ers Win at Home
The game will be close, but a 76ers win will be the end result.
FREE PLAY: PHI -1
OVER/UNDER: OVER 221.5
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