The biggest and best game of the weekend in the NBA is a huge clash between the Golden State Warriors and 76ers in Philadelphia. Both teams look like favorites to win their own conference, and this game will have the look and feel of an NBA Finals preview. The 76ers earned a nine-point win over the Warriors earlier this season, and are looking for the season sweep.
The Warriors come into Philadelphia having lost two straight games and three of their last four. Golden State still leads the Western Conference with a record of 43-19. The Sixers have won two straight games to improve their record to 40-22, but Philadelphia still sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers are +5.5 against the Warriors in this game.
Warriors Must Find Chemistry Again
The Golden State Warriors don’t look like the same team all of a sudden, and they are in danger of falling out of 1st place in the West. The Warriors are still averaging a league-high 118.6 points per game, but they have a ton of drama surrounding the team. The threat of Kevin Durant leaving the team in the offseason appears to be messing with the team. The Warriors are also just 20-11 away from home this season, and Philadelphia is a tough place to play.
Point guard Stephen Curry appears unfazed by the off-court drama, pouring in a team-high 28.4 points per game this season. Curry has gotten plenty of help from Durant and Klay Thompson this season, and all three players are shooting better than 36 percent from three. Even though there might be some chemistry issues, the Warriors can still score with the best of them.
76ers Winning Without Embiid
Even though Joel Embiid hasn’t played since the All-Star Break, the Sixers haven’t really missed a beat. Philadelphia is obviously missing Embiid’s 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, but the Sixers have kept on winning. The loss of Embiid could hurt the Sixers in this game, as the Warriors really don’t have a solid post defender. Philadelphia is averaging 115.5 points per game this season, and the Warriors haven’t been playing much defense of late. Expect the Sixers to try to run with the Warriors without their star center.
The Sixers brought in Tobias Harris from the Clippers before the trade deadline, and it might turn out to be a huge move. Harris is averaging 21.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game since joining the Sixers and gives Philadelphia one of the best starting units in the league. The 76ers could still use some more production from their bench, but Philly is right there with the Warriors in terms of starting talent.
Philadelphia Extends Win Streak
Even with Embiid sidelined for this game, it feels like the Sixers should still be the favorites. Philadelphia has proven that they can win without him, and the Warriors have been slumping of late. Golden State will be fine come playoff time, but this feels like another loss for me. Take the 5.5 points and bet the Philadelphia 76ers to beat the Golden State Warriors.