After a devastating loss to the Boston Celtics last night, the Sixers will take on the New York Knicks tonight at the Garden. The Knicks are in the middle of a 17-game losing streak (but it’s okay because their team may look completely different next year), while the Sixers have a record of 36-21. They are tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference with, you guessed it, the Celtics.
Both teams look markedly different following the trade deadline. The Knicks shipped Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke off to Dallas. Also a part of that trade was franchise player and unicorn of the NBA, Kristaps Porzingis, who was so unhappy in New York that he asked to be traded prior to the trade deadline. In return, the Knicks received 2017 9th overall pick Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, and Wesley Matthews. Matthews has since been waived by the Knicks and is currently playing for the Indiana Pacers.
The Sixers have won all three games against the Knicks this season. Their first two meetings were hometown affairs where the Sixers won by 20+ points in each contest. Their last game, on January 13th, was much closer but the Sixers managed to squeak out a win by a score of 108-105. In that game, rookie Kevin Knox put up 31 points and Luke Kornet scored 23 off the bench.
Since coming to the Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr. has been averaging more than 17 points per game, and is proving to be a solid addition to the Knicks’ starting lineup. DeAndre Jordan has also been an upgrade at the starting center position from Enes Kanter (recently waived) and Mitchell Robinson. Jordan has averaged over 11 points and rebounds per game since joining New York.
Although the Knicks have upgraded some of their players, the Sixers still have the all-star talent. In their previous three matchups against each other, Joel Embiid has had DeAndre Jordan’s number. In those games, Embiid has outscored Jordan 86-20 and out rebounded him 38-34, in comparable minutes. After a slow night against the Celtics, Embiid should have a big bounce back game.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks
When: 7:30 pm EST
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Watch: NBCSports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic