The Philadelphia Sixers will have a little bit of extra motivation as they are set to go up against the Lite version of the big 3 in Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook tried disrespecting the Process himself, Joel Embiid, on his home court in Philadelphia after a crazy 3OT game in which the Thunder came out on top. That moment is sure to be in the heads of the entire roster, and they should come out firing from the get go.
January has been a great month for the Sixers, going 7-2 with 3 games left before the calendar turns to the dreaded month of February. The team is playing its best basketball in a long time, the defense is top tier, the bench is producing, and Ben Simmons is consistently attacking on the offensive side, becoming less passive like we’ve seen in prior months.
The player who has most surprisingly stepped up this month has been Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, as the Frenchman has had to enter the starting lineup due to injuries from JJ Redick and Jerryd Bayless, and to the surprise of many he is playing very well. Not known for his consistency, TLC has all of a sudden found some, and is averaging 14.5 points per game and is shooting 57% from deep in the four games since being named a starter. Once Redick is healthy enough to return TLC will have to figure out a way to bottle up whatever he is doing right now to make him so effective and translate it over to his bench role, because if he can step up off of the bench, then finding a wing player at the trade deadline might not be as important.
The Sixers aren’t the only team producing in January, the Thunder also have a great record this month and come into the game with a 9-3 record, winning their last 7. The walking triple double Russell Westbrook, along with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony create a deadly trio, so the Sixers defense that held the San Antonio Spurs to only 78 points needs to stay on their game.
It’s been an up and down season so far for the Sixers, and January has been full of ups. Joel Embiid may even turn his troll game up a notch as he tries to get revenge on Westbrook, but none the less this matchup will be an incredibly exciting one.
Game Time: 6:00 PM
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic