Well, the Sixers (13-11) have the Cavs (18-8) right where they want them.
The Sixers, who have lost their last two games, at home, to inferior teams now travel to The Land to face LeBron James and the Cavs who are fresh off their 13 game win streak being snapped by the Pacers. The Sixers will have to try to get back on track without the help of some guy named Joel Embiid, as he will sit out the front end of this back-to-back weekend road trip.
This will be the second time in the history of the NBA that LeBron “The King” James and Ben “Don’t Compare Me to LeBron James, I’m My Own Man” Simmons will go head to head. In their last meeting in South Philly on November 27th, Ben Simmons and crew hung with the Cavs for about three and a half quarters until the Cavaliers decided that enough was enough and thought it would be fun to eviscerate them in the 4th quarter. This slaughtering included 57 Cavalier bench points to 34 total bench points for TJ and the crew.
It was an odd game in November, as it was unsure if Ben Simmons was a full 100% healthy, there was an understandable lack of offensive production from Robert Covington, who was dealing with the passing of his childhood friend, and Joel had a solid 30 points, while still going -23 in the game.
Are things going to be different this time around?
The Sixers are going to have to find a way to make up 23.5 points points in the absence of Joel and the Sixers bench has averaged around 13 total bench points in their five games since their showdown with the Cavs.
Here’s some things that could go well for the Sixers in their matchup.
- In the privation of Joel Embiid, Richaun Holmes continues to play like a firecracker and gives the Sixers some stellar minutes in the frontcourt
- J.J. Redick comes alive again and starts making some gosh darn 3’s (he’s 6/20 in his last three games from beyond the arc)
- And here’s a hot take… Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot comes alive off the bench and hits at least four three pointers. TLC is averaging 12 points and 5 boards against the Cavs in his career and has a 38% usage rating when the Sixers play the Cavaliers.
Can Richaun, J.J., and Timothe make up for the hole left by Embiid? Probably not, but let’s have some fun and hope they can.
8:00 pm EST @ Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Follow along on Twitter: @Liberty_Ballers