For the Sixers, this is #LiterallyTheMostImportantBasketballGameEver (credit to @JeffMcDev on Twitter with this creative and bold hashtag)
To add to the emotional toll of this game for the fans, today, April 6th, 2018, is the two year anniversary of when Sam Hinkie stepped down as the General Manager of the Sixers. On the two year anniversary, the Sixers have a chance to jump in to control of the 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and with just three games to follow.
You want even more drama? This is yet another audition for the Sixers to draw in one particular free agent this summer. NBA fan police are already debating on whether we should be cheering or booing LeBron and the answer is so freaking obvious it pains me to even have to discuss it. Tonight, LeBron James is an enemy. Boo the ever-loving crap out of him. Make the Wells Fargo Center the most hostile and gritty environment that LeBron will ever have to play in and for the love of god, do not cheer for him.
Good news for the Sixers is that the Cavs are coming off the first leg of a back-to-back. Bad news is that they mounted a 17-point comeback against the Wizards, the go another half game up on the Sixers. LeBron finished with 33p/14a as he led the comeback effort. BUT! The Sixers have won 12 (!) games in a row. This game has a very “unstoppable force vs an immovable object” feel to it, as the LeBron has dominated the East for years upon years, but now, the streaking Sixers squad who has seemingly forgotten how to lose will play host to the King in, #LiterallyTheMostImportantBasketballGameEver
However, for the Sixers, this isn’t like any other game they’ve had during their win streak. The Cavs have the best record of anyone the Sixers have played since the played, well, the Cavs on March 1st (we won). That was also the game when tempers flared after Dario Saric punctuated a Sixers victory with a dunk, a dunk that resulted in Jordan Clarkson pelting Dario in the back with the ball. Dario is still questionable for the game tonight as he’s missed the last few games due to an elbow injury. And obviously, no Joel again tonight.
Although Joel Embiid will be absent from the lineup, there will still be electricity in the air at the Wells Fargo Center tonight. Ben and Dario (if he plays) will have to haul the load while JJ Redick, Marco Belinelli, and Ersan Ilyasova will have to continue their hot shooting. Robert Covington will more than likely have his hands full most of the game, as he will be anchored to LeBron on the defensive end.
One sleeper player that could spark absolute euphoria tonight is Richaun Holmes. Over Embiid’s absence, Holmes has put up 10p/6r off the bench since Embiid went down against the Knicks while shooting 62% from the field. I know that a lot of those shots are dunks, but Richaun has shown some improved touch around the rim on his baby hooks and floaters. Richaun might be the gallon of gasoline the Sixers need tonight to ensure victory, and sole control of the 3 seed.
Where: Wells Fargo Center, South Philadelphia
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Follow Along on Twitter: @Liberty_Ballers