Well, this game looks a lot more interesting than it did in the beginning of the season. This was supposed to be a throw away game.
Before the start of the season all the tanking talk was centered around two teams, the Sixers and the Suns. The Sixers have adopted and embraced the tanking culture about a trimester into the season, while the Suns have done the complete opposite.
After a rough loss to the Warriors (115-86) last night, the Suns look to rebound against the lowly Sixers. The Suns were anything but the team we’ve seen this season, shooting 36 percent from the field and 17 percent from the three-point line. However, the Sixers come into this game with an advantage.
The Sixers have been in Phoenix since Thursday night, as they get ready for a five-game road trip against the Western Conference. Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek had the following to say about the Sixers (via nba.com):
“We play again tomorrow night,” Hornacek said. “Philly’s been waiting in Phoenix for us, they’ve been there for two days and haven’t played in a week so you know they’re going to have a lot of energy.”
That’s right. The Sixers are well rested and haven’t played since December 21st. However, they are coming off an ugly loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, whom they gave up 116 points too. The Sixers are giving up a league-worst 111.7 points per game to opponents, something that everyone is beginning to notice.
Regardless of the numbers, Michael Carter-Williams vs Eric Bledsoe should be a fun match up. While Eric Bledsoe is a leading candidate for Most Improved Player, Carter-Williams looks to be the leading man for Rookie of the Year. Anytime that Michael Carter-Williams is on the floor, the Sixers are worth watching.
Will the Sixers win?
That’s a tough question. I thought they would beat Milwaukee and they got blasted. Phoenix is coming off a terrible loss and I don’t think they want to add a loss to the Sixers too. The Suns obviously aren’t tanking and can’t be losing to teams like the Sixers if they want any chance of making the playoffs in the extremely tough Western Conference. If the Suns want to make the playoffs, they almost have to play every game like a playoff game.
I’ll predict a Suns victory here. The Sixers haven’t played defense all season and for a Suns squad that averages over 100 points per game, I don’t see the Sixers beginning to play defense like the Pacers out of no where. With that being said, I’ll take the Suns in this game. Tank on Philly, tank on.
This game has a late tip at 9 PM.
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