Partially lost in the euphoria surrounding the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles is the fact that the month of January has also been kind to their South Philly counterparts.
The Philadelphia 76ers are 5-1 since the calendar flipped to 2018, and are 7-0 on U.S. soil since rapper Lil B put them on his blessed list. Joel Embiid has cemented his All-Star status over the past three games (29.7 PPG, 12.0 RPG), and Brett Brown’s squad continues to roll despite J.J. Redick’s absence due to a leg injury.
The Sixers have the best net rating in the month of January.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) January 22, 2018
The team’s current run of success is in stark contrast to their recent history against the opponent on the schedule tonight. The 76ers have lost nine in a row to the Memphis Grizzlies, and have come up short in their last seven visits to the FedEx Forum (with their last win coming in February 2009).
This Memphis squad is a much different team that the one that’s dominated the Sixers in years past, however. At 16-29, the postseason is highly unlikely for the Grizzlies, and Mike Conley (heel) and Chandler Parsons (illness/knee) are just two of the half-dozen members of the roster set to miss Monday’s game due to injury.
While neither team is at full strength, it figures to be difficult for an excessively under-manned Grizzlies team to put up much of a fight against tonight. Embiid and Ben Simmons match up well against Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans, and Memphis - who is scoring less than 100 points per game this season - simply doesn’t have enough firepower to keep up with a red-hot Sixers unit.
So... expect a 148-124 shootout along the lines of this past weekend’s Thunder/Cavs game.
8:00 PM / FedEx Forum / NBC Sports Philadelphia / 97.5 the Fanatic