New York Knicks 70th Anniversary

5 Things to Know: Porzingis and Embiid Collide in Philly

by Jonah Ballow

7:00 PM EST | Wells Fargo Center
TV:  MSG Network
Radio: ESPN NY 98.7 FM

5 Things To Know:

1.  On Monday night at MSG, the Pelicans cruised to a 110-96 victory over the Pelicans behind Anthony Davis’ prolific outing.  Davis scored 40 points on 63.6 shooting from the floor and hauled down 18 boards in the win.  Derrick Rose was not with the team, Carmelo Anthony and Kyle O’Quinn were ejected, and Mindaugas Kuzminskas was unavailable due to illness.    

2.  Rose returned to the team on Tuesday morning and joined the practice session prior to the trip to Philadelphia.  Following Tuesday’s practice, Rose said, “That was a family issue.  For one, it had nothing to do with the team or basketball but that’s the first time I’ve ever felt like that emotionally and I had to be with my family.” 

3.  New York is 17-21 overall this season, just 2.5 games out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.  Over the next week, the Knicks face a crucial stretch to get back in the mix out East with matchups against Philadelphia tonight, Chicago on Thursday, and a road contest in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.    

4.  Sixers fans have been patiently waiting for the process to pay off in Philadelphia after several years of attempting to land a franchise player in the NBA Lottery.  Well, former lottery pick Joel Embiid is finally healthy and providing hope to a franchise that has not made the playoffs since 2012.  Philadelphia snagged the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft by selecting the versatile forward Ben Simmons.  Unfortunately for the Sixers, Simmons broke his foot prior to the season opener but could be nearing a return to the floor soon after participating in some on-court drills this week.  Philadelphia also brought over the former two-time FIBA Young Player of the Year winner Dario Saric from Croatia.  Most recently, the Sixers inked former Westchester Knick Chasson Randle to a 10-day contract.

5. On Sunday afternoon, Philadelphia secured a 10-point victory over the Nets, matching its win total from a season ago nearly a month prior to the All-Star break.  The man in the middle led the way as Embiid scored 20 points in the victory.  Embiid is beginning to turn heads around the league with his all-around skill set that stretches all the way out to the 3-point line.  In just 25 minutes per game, Embiid is averaging 19.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game.  Remarkably, the 7-footer is hitting 36.8 percent from downtown on three attempts each outing.  Tonight’s matchup between Embiid and Kristaps Porzingis is must-see TV as the two young players continue to redefine the modern big man in the NBA.  While Embiid carries the load for Philadelphia, Jahlil Okafor’s role is less stable. On Sunday, Okafor received a DNP and Nerlens Noel was the designated big man off the pine, playing 24 minutes for the 10-25 Sixers.