Philadelphia 76ers game previews between November 14 and November 20, including games against: Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards.
Monday, 14 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Away
The no longer winless Sixers face off against the Houston Rockets on Monday.
Houston comes into this game with a 5-4 record, and potentially the most high-powered offense in the NBA. Led by James Harden, who is averaging the fifth most points per game in the NBA (at 30.0 PPG) and is leading the league in assists per game (at 13.0 APG), the Sixers will have a lot to keep up with. Especially since the Rockets are seventh in the NBA in offensive rating while the Sixers are twenty-third in the NBA in defensive rating.
Unsurprisingly, though, the Rockets have an even worse defense than the Sixers, currently sitting at an astonishing twenty-seventh place in defensive rating (which gives them a negative net rating). This is something that the Sixers might be able to take advantage off with a man you may have heard of, who goes by the name of Joel Embiid. As we have seen from Embiid already this season, he thrives against teams that don't have decent defending big men (and even against those who do). Just this past week he put up 25 points in 25 minutes on the Indiana Pacers with the primary defender against him being Myles Turner. If he can come out of the gates strong Monday night and dominate Clint Capela into foul trouble, he would be left with the ever so terrible defender Ryan Anderson to try and handle him. And that would be a favorable situation for The Process.
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Home
After a full days rest the Sixers are back home in Philly to play a frustrated John Wall and the underperforming Wizards.
Sitting at an abysmal two wins and seven losses, the Wizards will be looking to kick it back into gear to keep their star point guard John Wall happy. But they may struggle with that, because while John Wall will go off against the Sixers, the Wizards are in the same situation as so many other teams, in that they have no one to guard Joel Embiid. Marcin Gortat may be able strong enough to stop him in the post, but he's too slow footed to stop Embiid on the perimeter (where he is currently shooting an astonishing 58% from 3 on 1.2 made threes per game. And the opposite can be said the the Wizards only other big man worthy of minutes, Markieff Morris. He may be quick enough to keep up with Embiid on the perimeter, but he'll never be able to stop him in the post.
Hot take on the Wizards: John Wall will be gone before the trade deadline. The team is underperforming yet again despite his fantastic play. He is clearly frustrated with this (see his recent technical fouls) and could be looking for a way out, so he doesn't waste his prime years. Look for the Pelicans and Kings to be making moves to get him.
Thursday, 17 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Away
On the second night of a back to back the Sixers are playing the ever 'spooky' Timberwolves.
We'll be missing out on a battle of the high potential big men since Embiid is currently sitting out the back ends of back to backs to prevent further injury. So this game could be pretty boring if you're a Sixers fan. The only hope for the Sixers is that Okafor is allowed to play extended minutes in this game, since last season he schooled Karl Anthony-Towns in both of their rookie meetings. Or we could hope that Dario Saric finally has a breakout game in his first game where he is the number one option. But we should just be expecting the shockingly high powered offense of the Timberwolves to steamroll the struggling, Process-less Sixers.
Saturday, 19 November 2016 at 07:30 PM ET Home
In the final Sixers game of the week, they face off against yet another struggling team in the Phoenix Suns.
With Embiid back, the Sixers will be able to rely on him for instant offense once more. But what they will need to be worried about is the true Baby Faced Assassin, Devin Booker. With already two 38+ point performances this season, he could be looking to surpass once again his career high in scoring against a weak opponent. And he isn't their only offensive weapon. The Suns possess yet another 20 point scorer in T.J. Warren, as well a good point guard in Eric Bledsoe. The offense is the one thing the Suns do not lack, defense, on the other hand, is another story.
Currently thirtieth in opponent's points per game, the Suns have been atrocious on that end of the floor. The Sixers could do well do capitalize on the woes of the Suns by utilizing Sergio Rodriguez in more pick and rolls with Embiid and more pick and pops with Saric, two players that the Suns won't be able to handle with their struggling big men Tyson Chandler and Alex Len.