The Pacers tip off their season series against the Philadelphia 76ers in a nationally televised game from Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
ESPN will have the broadcast which allowed them to leave all of their equipment overnight after broadcasting the monster college double-header at BLF on Tuesday night. Joel Embiid was there in the front row cheering on the Kansas Jayhawks but tonight he’ll be front and center as the focal point for the Sixers’ attack.
Embiid is averaging 28.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and over two blocks per game. While most expected Ben Simmons to be the primary leader of Philly’s attack, Embiid has taken over that role. Of course, Simmons remains a major threat, especially when he’s going downhill with the ball in his hands.
Simmons is a triple-double threat every night but teams have adjusted to stay in front of him since he has yet to attempt a three-point shot. Plus, his backcourt running mate in the starting lineup, Markelle Fultz has only shot 13 times from behind the arc where he has made four. JJ Redick is playing more minutes off the bench than Fultz, though and remains a lethal threat from 3-land.
As for the Pacers, they too are looking for more threes, more pace and more offense of any kind. The key is finding some consistent offensive help to go along with Victor Oladipo who is now averaging 23 points per game.
This is the first of four games between the teams this year and everyone carries added weight since both teams will be fighting for the same playoff positioning in the East throughout the regular season.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN/FOX Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner
76ers: Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid
PHI: Mike Muscala (facial laceration) - out, Robert Covington (back) - questionable, Jerryd Bayless (left knee) - out, Zhaire Smith (left foot) - out
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.