It’s been a great day for basketball. NCAA basketball, that is. But lo and behold, we have NBA action tonight. The Sixers play in Madison Square Garden at 7:30, to be exact.
The Sixers look to get one game closer to a season sweep on the Knicks, as the Sixers are already 2-0 on the season against the Knicks, with tonight and March 28th being the final two bouts. The previous two victories saw the Sixers win 105-98 and 108-92. Joel Embiid went off in that first meeting, tallying 25 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. In that game, JJ Redick also had a solid outing with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
I was pretty shocked to see Enes Kanter had the greatest day of his career in that game, until I remembered being 2 espresso martinis and 7 IPAs deep on Christmas day, wondering aloud whether or not the Thunder made the right move in trading Kanter in the Melo trade and WTF I’m supposed to do with an iTunes gift card. Kanter went bonkers that Christmas day, scoring 31 points and racking up 22 rebounds.
The second time these two teams squared off this season, Michael Beasley was the “oh of course an average to below average player goes off against the Sixers” phenomenon. Beasley added 22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks when the Knicks came to Philly February 12th. Dario Saric was able to negate some of that performance, with his own 24 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist.
But this is a pretty drastically different Knicks team than we saw earlier this year. And by drastically different, I mean they are trying to lose.
The Knicks are... woah, is that right? Ahem: THE KNICKS ARE 1-16 IN THEIR LAST 17.
Nothing is a lock in the wild league we call the NBA. But the Sixers are a lock tonight. (File that away for Old Takes Exposed.) They have no business losing this game. The Knicks are actively trying to improve their draft stock, and will be playing tonight without Kristaps Porzingis and not that it matters, but my personal favorite Joakim Noah, because “Noah and the organization have come to an agreement that he will not be involved in team activities for the remainder of the season.” Per Basketball Reference.
Sit back, and watch Emmanuel Mudiay get more tick than Frank Ntilikina. You may even see Trey Burke! It’ll be a real doozy.
Seriously though, the Sixers can’t fool around tonight. These games are the true must wins if the team plans to climb the standings. I expect a big game from Joel Embiid even though his wrist is taped. Sixers win easy, right?
Throw me which Knick will have an out of body experience in which he has a spiritual love man-child with Michael Jordan that is inserted into the player’s body, in the comments below! My money is on Courtney Lee, until they pull him for making the game too close.
Game Time: 7:30 pm EST
Radio: 97.5 the Fanatic
Vegas line: -9.5 Sixers