Hey LB'ers and Sixers Science fans, I'll be down at the Wells Fargo Center covering the game tonight, feel free to say what's up if you're sitting courtside!
(Sorry for the reminder)
Game Info & Starting Lineups
1) Joel Embiid is a game-time decision (Check my Twitter around 5:50 for Coach Brown's status update).
2) De'Aaron Fox is a game-time decision and George Hill is out.
3) Trevor Booker and Justin Anderson continue to be sidelined.
Sacramento Kings (9-20) at Philadelphia 76ers (14-15)
- The Sixers have now dropped 6 of their last 7 games, battling a combination of injuries, shooting struggles, defensive lapses, and bad luck with the opponent's outside shooting. Brett Brown views the season in 10-game chunks, so hopefully, the next 10 are a lot more palatable than the previous 10 games.
- The Kings have dropped 5 of their last 7 games, including a win they squeaked out against the Pelicans in Overtime. They continue to lose to the good teams and stay competitive with bad/mediocre ones. The fact that the Sixers have accrued losses to the likes of the Kings, Bulls, Lakers, and Suns probably indicates they are a mediocre team.
Player Impact Plus-Minus
- Zach Randolph has carried the load for the Kings over their last 10 games, registering a positive 3.10 offensive impact plus-minus. The other veteran, George Hill, has been the other bright spot on this rag-tag group of young, developing players.
- De'Aaron Fox has been atrocious on the offensive side of the floor, mostly due to his utter lack of a three-point shot.
The interesting thing about the Kings is they have some players capable of playing solid defense, but their guards who garner the most minutes have been sieves, specifically Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Frank Mason.
Sixers Last 10
These don't change much from game-to-game. so I'll just recap what I wrote last time:
- Joel Embiid is the clear bright spot over the last 10 games but still hasn't been the force the Sixers know he's capable of being.
- The defense for the SG's continues to be porous, with Bayless, Redick, and TLC all registering severely negative DIPM, which is not conducive to success in a guard-driven Eastern conference.
- TJ McConnell has not produced a positive impact over the last 10 games, contrary to what he brought in the first 15 games. As he heals up, I'm confident this will turn around.
Team Rankings/Shot Charts
The same story as the Bulls game: The Sixers have an advantage in almost every area except fouls and turnovers. These two areas are blatantly sabotaging the Sixers' efforts and need to be remedied if they want to have success.
The Kings are dangerous from three-point-land, but rank 27th in made threes, don't let them get hot.
Play-Type Game Matchup Data
"What am I looking at?"
This chart shows the Kings efficiency for each play-type and juxtaposes it against the Sixers defense for those same play-types. What it spits out is the projected Per Game difference in efficiency the Kings are expected to have per each play-type, versus what the league average team would score against the league average defense.
The Kings biggest advantages coming in these three play-types:
1) Isolation = 9 points total (0.8 pts over expectation)
2) Post-Up = 8 points total (0.5 pts over expectation)
3) Pick-and-Roll Ball Handler = 16 points total (0.2 pts over expectation)
Highest Expected Volume Play-Type
Spot-Up = 18 points total (1.8 pts less than expectation)
The Sixers biggest advantages coming in these three play-types:
1) Pick-and-Roll Ball Handler = 14 points total (1.3 pts over expectation)
2) Cuts = 12 points total (1.1 pts over expectation)
3) Handoffs = 6 points total (0.9 pts over expectation)
Highest Expected Volume Play-Type
Spot-Up = 23 points total (0.9 pts less than expectation)
Sixers Science Prediction (Record: 14-5):
1) If Joel Embiid plays, I think the Sixers will score at will from pick-and-roll possessions, as the Kings don't do a good job defending this action. They give up 0.93 points per possession to the PnR Ball Handler and 1.16 PPP to the Roll Man, both well above the league average efficiency given up.
2) The Kings do a great job scoring out of isolation, and this has been the Sixers Achilles' Heel over the last 10 games, especially in the fourth quarter. A theme in their losses has been opposing guards scoring out of isolation against the likes of Redick, Bayless, TLC, or punishing slow rotations from Saric (amonst others).
3) This game should produce great looks from three for the Sixers, as the Kings have surrendered the 5th most threes on the 2nd best percentage in the NBA, it's time for the Sixers to deliver from outside (like they did against Bulls).
4) In the first matchup, Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph eviscerated the Sixers, combining for 39 points on a 61.5 eFG%. Kosta Koufos also went 4/5 and had 12 boards in just 20 minutes of action. The Sixers need their bigs to step up, to help alleviate the burden from their poor SG play. I've been harping on how bad the trio of Redick, Bayless, and TLC has been, the Sixers need Markelle Fultz back desperately.
Sacramento Kings: 95
Philadelphia 76ers: 108
Vegas Favorite: Sixers by 8.5 points