The Philadelphia 76ers return from their annual Disney On Ice road trip with another victory and several hours of bowling-inspired team chemistry.
An intriguing matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves now awaits back at The Center, with the second clash between Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid set to highlight League Pass streams across the nation.
The Sixers rested Embiid on the first half of a back-to-back in order to give NBA heads the first clash of the league’s most promising young centers. It was one of Embiid’s worst performances as a professional; his 10-point, 10-rebound double-double not nearly enough to mask his obvious struggles from those who tuned in.
Towns, meanwhile, was nothing short of fantastic, hanging 25 points on 12-18 shooting and gobbling 10 rebounds with 2 blocks.
Embiid is a far different player now. He adds another move to his offensive arsenal each game like a Pokemon trainer teaches new attacks to his Pokedex of creatures. And now, we’ll see both Towns and Embiid paired with another 7-footer in the frontcourt as the Sixers forge forward with experimenting with a twin towers approach—although a Jahlil Okafor DNP-CD against the Nuggets afforded both Embiid and Nerlens Noel ample opportunity as the solo 7-footer.
The Wolves’ often use Gorgui Dieng to defend opposing premier big men, saving Towns for the offensive end and hiding him as a backline and weakside rim protector. With either Noel or Okafor on the floor, perhaps it will force more organic Embiid vs. Towns possessions. Come on, Thibs. Give us the matchup we’re all thirsting for!
Here’s to starting off 2017 right.