Was gonna keep it to 3 plays max but I really like the card tonight. Will return with a few more plays.
Pelicans have had two days off to prepare for this matchup which is a must win game for the Pelicans. The Sixers have been to Texas, Chicago, back to Texas, and back to Philadelphia for this matchup. The Sixers have Detroit in the 2nd game of a b2b tomorrow, sit comfortably two games ahead of the Nets, and three games ahead of the Bucks with the easiest remaining schedule in the east. However the Sixers have traveled miles and miles and have to face a Pelicans team that will surely push the pace and test those weary legs of the Sixers so I expect the Pelicans to score tonight. The Pelicans offense averages 115 ppg while the Sixers average 113 ppg. While I don’t feel the Sixers will have trouble putting up points against the Pelicans I do think they’ll be a step behind in terms of energy and focus and could take a hungry Pelicans team lightly that already beat the Sixers starting lineup in New Orleans. They’ll have to make up for the loss of Ingram but under these circumstances I think it’s very possible.
Remember that dagger Paul hit in NY and the punch in the air he threw? Remember Paul didn’t want to be a Knick for whatever reason I won’t speculate? Remember the Knicks passed up on MPJ due to his medical reports, and Bridges for Knox. Remember Austin Rivers 6 threes in Denver and staring down the Knicks bench. The Knicks have a personal vendetta going on and the first team to feel their wrath will be the Phoenix Suns. I like the Knicks to win here. There’s talks of Williams being coach of the year but Thibodeau is and should be in that conversation as well. I promise you the Knicks will attack first and play 48 minutes of basketball tonight with revenge, to prove a point, and for their head coach who helped get them where they are. The Knicks had this game literally circled on their calendar.
I like the Pelicans to cover. If Embiid is out then they have a shot at winning this game. The Pelicans beat the Sixers while the Sixers were on two days rest but that was with Ingram. However I think Embiid means more to the Sixers than Ingram does to the Pelicans in a critical matchup like this considering the back and forth trip the Sixers have been on.