The Sixers take on the Indiana Pacers tonight in South Philadelphia, in a game that could prove pivotal in the playoff standings come the end of the season. The Pacers are currently sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference. However, the standings are so bunched together that the sixth place Sixers are only two games behind them. The Pacers are 7-3 in their last ten games and looking for their third win in a row, while the Sixers look to continue their 13 game winning streak in the City of Brotherly Love.
In their previous game, the second half of Joel Embiid’s first back-to-back of his career, the Pacers defeated the Sixers 100-92. They were led by strong performances from Victor Oladipo, who will surely be the NBA’s Most Improved Player, and Bojan Bogdanovic. Going into the 4th quarter, the difference between the two teams was one point, but Lance Stephenson became a man possessed, scoring half of the Pacers 4th quarter points (and only five less than the entire Sixers squad).
The Sixers will need to play a more consistent game if they want to beat the Pacers. In their last meeting, the Sixers lost their offensive firepower in the second half, shooting only 1/14 from three on J.J. Redick’s only made field goal of the night. However, to beat the Sixers, the Pacers will need to find a better answer for Joel Embiid. Myles Turner was ineffective against Embiid, both offensively and defensively, and the Pacers had to turn to Al Jefferson and Domantas Sabonis to guard the center from Cameroon. Tonight, they will have to deal with a rested Embiid after he played less than 27 minutes in the Sixers Sunday night routing of the Brooklyn Nets.
Tonight will also be Trevor Booker’s return to Philadelphia, after being waived by the Sixers to make room for Ersan Ilyasova. Booker played 33 games for the Sixers this year.
Game Time: 7:00 pm
TV: NBCSports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic