The Sixers travel to Charlotte today to take on the Hornets for the 4th time in the last 4 weeks. The Hornets, who are 10th in the Eastern Conference standings, have been eliminated from playoff contention, giving them essentially nothing to play for in their 5 remaining games.
The Sixers are 3-0 against Charlotte this season (last month). However, all 3 of those wins came with Joel Embiid in the rotation. Dwight Howard, while a shell of his former self, could have a big day today considering the Sixers lack of a big to match up with Howard. Still, the Sixers are favorites today at -3 by most accounts.
In the Sixers first game since Joel Embiid has been sidelined with an orbital fracture, they defeated the Atlanta Hawks 101-91. Ben Simmons and Ersan Ilyasova were excellent in Embiid’s absence, with Simmons tallying a 13-12-11 triple-double in just 26 minutes (!) and Ilyasova dropping 21 with 16 rebounds. If the Sixers are to beat the Hornets today, they’ll need similar bench production that they got from Ilyasova. Next man up.
The #FreeRichaun movement is sure to be pleased today, and Markelle cracked 19 minutes against the Hawks, signaling that those two have been the primary beneficiaries of a lack of Embiid minutes.
The Sixers, at 45-30, are a 0.5 game back of the Cavaliers for the 3rd seed. A win today ties the two, but that can only last but a few hours. Cleveland takes on the Dallas Mavericks at 6:00 pm. In the unlikely event that the Cavs fall to the Mavs, the Sixers would take sole ownership of 3rd place.
Game time: 1:00 pm
Where: Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC.
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic