Philly tweaked their lineup and added Doc Rivers to the bench which have certainly helped the team’s results. However, Joel Embiid playing at an MVP level when he plays has been the biggest impact. The Sixers are 14-2 with Embiid and 0-4 when he sits.
Myles Turner has struggled against Embiid in particular, mainly avoiding early fouls against the bigger big man which diminishes his minutes and impact he can have on the game. When the Pacers have had success against the Sixers with Embiid in the past, they have forced him into passing out of pressure which resulted in bulk turnovers. That strategy is not as sound as Embiid has developed his game and has better shooters around him to make the penalty of leaving other players open more severe.
Games against the elite teams like Philly are when the loss of firepower in T.J. Warren and Caris LeVert is glaring. Should be interesting to see how the Pacers approach defending the Sixers this time around under Nate Bjorkgren.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner
76ers: Seth Curry, Ben Simmons, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid
IND: Doug McDermott (lower back) - questionable, Caris LeVert (medical condition) - out, T.J. Warren (foot) - out
PHI: Terrence Ferguson (personal reasons) - out, Mike Scott (knee) - out
Enemy view: Liberty Ballers
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.