Game Preview: Nuggets Set to Face New-Look Sixers
Philadelphia, PA – The Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers will square off tonight for the second time in the last two weeks but the Philly team that Denver will see tonight is very different than the one they faced the last time. The Sixers were active on the trade market this week, most notably making a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.
The Nuggets have dropped their last two games, putting them at 37-17 on the season and 1.5 games back of the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. Despite the two losses, the Nuggets are still 7-3 in their last 10 games and a game over .500 on the road on the season. Tonight’s game will mark the end of a four-game road trip for the Nuggets, they’ve gone 1-2 on the trip so far.
The Sixers are on a two-game losing streak of their own, holding a 34-20 record and the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The Sixers are 6-4 in their last 10 games. They’ve gone 21-6 at home this season.
The Nuggets defeated the Sixers by 16 on January 26 behind 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists from Nikola Jokić. JJ Redick led Philadelphia with 22 points.
Here is what to watch for tonight:
Nikola Jokić vs. Joel Embiid: The two big men will be on the same team at All-Star Weekend but tonight they will go up against each other in the post. Embiid sat out the first matchup for rest purposes but tonight fans will get a look at arguably the best center in each conference on the same court. Jokić is averaging 20.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 7.7 assists this season while Embiid is averaging 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
The new additions: Philadelphia’s addition of Tobias Harris adds to their already formidable starting five. Harris will likely join Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid to make for a very large and very potent lineup. Harris has already played three games against the Nuggets this season as a member of the Clippers and averaged 19.3 points and 9.3 rebounds.
Three point defense: The Nuggets have struggled over the last two games in the area of three point defense. The Brooklyn Nets shot 55.9 percent from deep on Wednesday while the Detroit Pistons 43.2 percent on Monday. The Sixers shot just 33.3 percent beyond the arc and made just eight threes in the first game against Denver, down from their season average of 35.9 percent and 11.4 made threes.
Tonight’s game will tip at 5 p.m. MT and will air on Altitude TV and the AltitudeNOW app. Fans can listen on Altitude Radio, 92.5 FM.