Following a nailbiter of a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans last night, the Sixers head right back to the court tonight to take on a Detroit Pistons team sitting last place in the Eastern Conference at 20-47. With the Sixers having played a team missing multiple key guys yesterday, they’re now moving on to the only other sort of team they play anymore: a lottery-bound tanker. The Pistons have added some new twists to the tanking game lately, going as far as to try out an alternating “veterans” games and “young guys” games strategy. I don’t know how Sam Hinkie is controlling so many teams this year, but I’m confident Adam Silver will put a stop to it.
The good news from the Sixers’ perspective is that this recent stretch of games has enabled them to run off a seven-game winning streak and make it so the first overall seed in the East appears to be a foregone conclusion. The bad news is that their level of play seems to have deteriorated without quality competition pushing them on the court. If the Miami Heat rest guys next week, the Sixers could potentially enter the playoffs having gone nearly a month without playing a strong opponent at full strength. I’m not saying it would worry me in a first-round series, but it’s not ideal.
Regardless, with a healthy buffer over Milwaukee and Brooklyn now available, the main goal of this last week-plus of action is to get through it healthy. Given the back-to-back, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see a couple DNP’s amongst the regulars tonight. Sit back, pop open your beverage of choice, and enjoy what will hopefully be plenty of fourth-quarter action with Paul Reed getting it out the mud.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons
When: 7:00 pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Philadelphia: Furkan Korkmaz - out (ankle)
Detroit: Jerami Grant - questionable (knee); Cory Joseph - questionable (ankle); Wayne Ellington - questionable (calf); Hamidou Diallo - out (personal); Josh Jackson - out (tooth); Dennis Smith Jr. - out (knee); Rodney McGruder - out (elbow)