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Sixers vs. Rockets: Preview and Game Info

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are in Philadelphia this evening for a nationally televised game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Houston enters with a record of 26-19 on the season, as they sit 5.5 games behind the Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors. The Sixers take the floor hoping to improve upon their record of 30-17. A win tonight would place the Sixers just half a game back of the third place Indiana Pacers.

The Rockets are not the regular season juggernaut they were in 2017-2018, but they have had a resurgence in their play and in the standings. Fueling that resurgence is James Harden, who is averaging 42.5 points a game over his last 19 contests. Harden is making yet another MVP bid with the current monstrous tear he’s on, and that tear could continue against a Sixers defense that is lacking in point-of-attack defenders. Volume scoring guards have given Philly fits all year, and Harden fits the bill of a volume scoring guard more than any other player in the NBA.

But for as unstoppable as Harden could be, Joel Embiid may be able to match Harden’s offensive dominance. The Rockets’ starting center Clint Capela is currently inactive, so Houston will have to rely on a combination of P.J. Tucker (a great defender but undersized compared to centers) and Nene Hilario (who, at 36 years old, will have trouble containing a force like Joel) to man the five. The conditions signal a productive night from Embiid.

The Rockets are somehow thinner on depth than the Sixers, so it may require a Herculean performance from James Harden for Houston to get a tally in the win column. The thing is, he’s capable of doing exactly that. Brett Brown will have quite the challenge on his hands in containing Harden. The Sixers need to do their best not to engage in exchanges of hero ball play and secure a solid team win.

Updated 4:28 pm: Embiid has been listed as questionable for tonight’s game, so the Sixers may not be able to capitalize on Capela’s absence as much as I’ve suggested. Jimmy Butler is also listed as questionable.

Game Info

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets

When: 1/21 at 8:00 pm EST

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia PA

Watch: TNT

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

Follow: @Liberty_Ballers

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