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Playoff-bound Sixers take on playoff-hopeful Charlotte Hornets

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The Sixers hope to sweep the Hornets, but will be without their All-Star center, Joel Embiid.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

I wanted to set the scene to remind you of the last time the Hornets and Sixers played. It feels like forever ago. We had yet to fall in love with the in-game Jack Daniels-swilling Mike Scott. The Bobi and Tobi show was produced on the West Coast. Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Landry Shamet were all wearing our nation’s birth place across their chest.

Now that the scene is set, remember how you felt like the Jimmy Butler from this game was the one that was going to get the Sixers over the hump, and make them real contenders in the East. The feeling is similar going into tonight’s Sixers/Hornets matchup. Butler has had his ups and downs with the Sixers, but has been been showing us the Butler we traded for in recent games. In March, Butler is averaging 19.8 points, almost two steals, and shooting 45 percent from the field (Fun fact: Butler is 58th in the League in FG%, sandwiched between the Splash Brothers).

The Sixers will need Butler to play to his potential tonight, as they will be without Joel Embiid. Embiid is out for “load management” reasons, but will back for Wednesday night’s matchup against You-Know-Who (the Celtics, not Voldemort). In the previous three meetings against the Hornets this season, Embiid had posted an aggregate line of 102 points, 44 rebounds, and eight blocks, and the Hornets still managed to take two of the games to overtime. Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Butler will have to step up if they want to put away this Hornets team.

The Hornets are continuing to try and fight their way into the playoffs, currently sitting two games back from the 8th seed in the East. They are coming off an 18-point loss to the Miami Heat, in a game with huge playoff implications. In that game, the Hornets’ offense stalled, culminating in a 75-point offensive output, with only 10 points from star point guard Kemba Walker. Walker will look to get back to his usual form against the Sixers — he has scored 30+ points in each of the teams’ three matchups this season, including a 60-point explosion back in November.

Game Info

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Charlotte Hornets

When: 7:00 pm EST

Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

Follow: @Liberty_Ballers