After a sometimes rocky, but ultimately successful showing on Saturday, the young Philadelphia 76ers take on the even younger Phoenix Suns tonight. The Sixers look to ride the re-emergence of Robert Covington’s shooting percentage, which has come back to life after a six-game slump, to a win.
The Suns (8-16) are led by young star and member of the burgeoning ‘Free Jah’ movement, Devin Booker. Booker put up 38 points against the Boston Celtics in a tough 5 point loss. Last season’s historic 70 point performance aside, he has proven to be an offensive threat that will need to be contained, averaging 23.6 per game on the season. The Suns are going to need big numbers from Booker if they are going to make up for their abysmal defense - the team has the league’s worst defensive rating at 109.6.
While the talented youth of this Sixers team has led them to a record of 13-9, the youth on the Suns has been more of a hindrance. Only one player (Booker) under the age of 24 has managed to average over 10 points a game for the Suns this season. Meanwhile, the Sixers have three players (Embiid, Simmons, Saric) under 24 who are averaging double-digit points per game. Additionally, the Suns' young players are barely averaging a positive win share, thanks to Booker’s contribution of 1.4 wins. The Sixers, meanwhile, have 3 players with a win share of over 1 (once again Embiid, Simmons, and Saric). The Suns and Philadelphia are both in the top four of NBA teams in regards to pace of play, so those young, fresh legs on either team could be the deciding factor tonight.
Game Time: 7:00 pm
TV: NBCSports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic