With emerging talent on both rosters, this matchup has turned into one the NBA is happy to spotlight for a national audience. The game tonight will be broadcast on ESPN, as will the first rematch in Philly on Dec. 14. The next game at the Fieldhouse is Jan. 17 and will mark a rare Thursday TNT appearance for the Pacers. The series wraps up in Philly on Mar. 20 in a Sunday matinee broadcast nationally on ABC.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons bring plenty of juice to the matchup and Embiid in particular is off to a monster start, averaging over 28 points and closing in on 13 rebounds per game. Victor Oladipo is the star that makes the Pacers shine. As you can see in the links today, the Pacers are looking for some offensive help to compliment VO, who has brought plenty of juice to the Fieldhouse already this season.
Last season the teams only faced each other three times (once at the BLF) during the regular season with the Pacers winning the series, 2-1. Yes, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were available for all three games. However, JJ Redick made the difference in Philly’s only win, as he drained 8 threes en route to 31 points to wipe out a big night by Oladipo.
Turnovers played a big role in the Pacers success last year, as the Sixers turned it over 18 times in each of the first two games and 21 times in the final game. The Pacers racked up 29 points off those turnovers in the third game which helped them beat a hot Philly team despite Oladipo scoring just 11 points on 21 shots. Similar to Redick’s impact in the first game, Myles Turner scored 25 points to neutralize Embiid’s output. That would be Philly’s last loss in the regular season.
So yeah, a look back at the intense games played last year helps explain why the NBA wanted to make sure everyone sees all four games this year.
Check out the links: