The Philadelphia 76ers will travel down to Western Tennessee, to take on Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, in a fun matchup between two contenders. Both squads are sitting at 12 wins to go along with a top five record in their respective conferences. This will be the second outing in a three-game road trip for the Sixers, tipping off at 8 PM EST at the FedExForum.
The 76ers are coming off a huge loss to the Cavaliers, where they gave up 113 points while only scoring a measly 85. They are currently without Tyrese Maxey and James Harden, their fantastic starting backcourt, due to foot injuries to both parties. Tobias Harris also missed today’s shootaround meaning that this Philly team could be without three starters, and a truly trusted secondary scoring option for Joel Embiid. Their current projected starting lineup is De’Anthony Melton at the one, followed by Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle, or Furkan Korkmaz, alongside P.J. Tucker and Joel Embiid.
On the other hand, the Memphis Grizzlies are doing much better depth-wise in terms of injury, with only Desmond Bane out from the starting five. They are 2-1 in their last three and are returning home after an eight-point loss in Minnesota. With a win tonight they’ll reach 13 wins before crossing the double-digit mark in the loss column, which would be a solid start for this young team.
How the 76ers can win:
Joel Embiid has to have an amazing performance. At a time when the team is hurt, you have to lean more on your stars, and that star happens to be one of the best big men in the NBA. Feed Embiid the ball, allow him to score by any means necessary, and be ready to hit shots from outside once he reaches the paint and draws attention. They shot terribly from deep against the Cavs, which is the reason they lost by so much. Shake Milton also has to step up and score more than 20, which we’ve seen before. Other than that, in games where every member of the team is contributing like last Sunday in Orlando, the Sixers score a lot. Embiid and Milton have to lead the way, and their teammates have to all chip in if they want to win tonight.
How the Grizzlies can win:
They can’t let their foot off the gas pedal. They are the obvious favorites tonight and simply cannot play to the level of a lower opponent. Ja Morant has to continue to perform at a high level. In half of the Grizzly losses he’s been a part of this season, he’s had four plus turnovers, with a whopping seven against Minnesota on Wednesday. The Grizzlies had 24 total turnovers, two times the amount the Timberwolves had, which goes to show why they lost. If they play efficient, yet aggressive basketball today, there is no doubt in my mind they get the win.
Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies 122, Philadelphia 76ers 105
The Sixers are too injured to beat a healthy Grizzlies team. Memphis has more talent on the court tonight, which will be the difference as they add a win in front of a home crowd.