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Sixers vs. Pistons: Start Time and Game Info

Odds of another Joel Embiid troll job tonight are high!

NBA: Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons are having a feel-good season, a strong performance relative to expectations with a 14-7 record and a road win in Golden State, the type that makes fans proud and gets remembered by the local fans fondly and by league diehards as a nice underlying story to the bigger narrative of a Cavaliers-Warriors fourth battle, but that ultimately means nothing more than that. In a new arena and having a loose grasp on their fans due to the franchise’s almost 10-year malaise, it’s a good result if mostly meaningless one on a wider scale. They come to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers in their second matchup of the season tonight.

The Pistons’ first game against the Sixers was a black eye in that season, as they got walloped by Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Robert Covington in a 97-86 Sixers win. The game was less close than the final score indicated - the Sixers’ stars physically dominated. Embiid finished with 30 points on 15 shots, and in the process made Andre Drummond look small. Simmons finished with 21 points and defended Reggie Jackson well. Covington had 13 points but primarily kept Tobias Harris - having a career year - in check, who finished with 11 points on 16 shot attempts.

As Jim wrote today, the Sixers are physically huge. The Pistons also have NBA athletes, but the Sixers made them - even Andre Drummond - look small.

Detroit is better than the showed in Motown, but the Sixers are capable of greater things, also. Every Sixer not mentioned previously struggled in that game. They still won on the power of their two stars. If the rest of the team comes to play tonight, they should be able to contain Detroit again.

Game Info

  • Game time: 7:30 PM
  • Location: The Center
  • TV: pregame at 7, game at 7:30 on NBCSP
  • Injuries: For the Sixers, Justin Anderson (ankle) and T.J. McConnell (shoulder) remain out. Markelle Fultz (shoulder) is of course still out as well. Jon Leuer (ankle) is out for Detroit.

One more thing to look forward to: NBA beef potential!

Joel Embiid dissed Andre Drummond after the last encounter, saying that he “doesn’t play defense” and that his trash talk during the game fueled Embiid during the team’s first victory this season. Note that, as mentioned above, Embiid sorta dominated that game. In media availability this morning when asked about guarding Andre Drummond, he noted what is patently obvious to anyone: that Andre Drummond isn’t a shooter, so the key to guarding him is to contest his lobs and then recover to his teammates when they get three point opportunities. Read the full quote transcribed by Detroit beat writer Rod Beard:

“No disrespect, but he can’t shoot, so I just have to worry about the defensive coverages that we have as a team. They run a lot of down-screens and back-side action and he’s always the roller, so he gets a lot of lobs. As a team, we have to make sure that doesn’t happen — and close out on shooters too.”

That’s a reasonable quote! Drummond is dangerous with catching lobs, but he doesn’t need to be guarded outside the paint. So of course, as per usual, opposing media is running with it as if he’s insulted Drummond’s mother. Yeah, no crap Drummond can’t shoot. He’s a historically bad shooter who, to his credit, used virtual reality technology to improve his free throw shooting from “legendarily bad” to “at least there’s no more bang-a-Drummond” and resuscitate a flailing career.

Mind you, Embiid is shooting 76% from the line to Drummond’s 64%, is a threat around the court, and is the superior player by objective measures. Embiid is right, and I hope he dunks all over the Pistons tonight.

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