Arena: Wells Fargo
Home Floor: Philadelphia 76ers
The trade deadline certainly left a deep impact and multiple teams have shuffled their major players in the last few days. Some insiders nailed the rumor mill and their projections turned out to be a reality as the NBA heads towards first All-Star Break and then as the postseason window will near, we will see some desperate pushes from different squads. Thus, the trade deadline has shaped up the current window and considering that the Eastern Conference squad Philadelphia 76ers traded Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond to land James Harden and Paul Millsap. Here, James Harden is likely to make his 76ers debut against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 76ers have 10 more wins than losses(32-22) and they have been doing a great job even without a stable playmaking option. They have lost the last three out of the four games and this has been a rather tough window but with Harden in the mix, they’ll be expected to make a deep postseason run. With a lineup of Harden, Maxey, Thybulle, Harris, and Embiid, the team looks highly promising indeed but there can be a few adjustments to be made with a player like Harden, who likes to have the ball in his hands quite a bit.
Oklahoma City Thunder is on a three-game losing streak and their offense has taken a huge hit especially since Shai Gilgeous-Alexader has been out. The Thunder has overall won just 17 and has compiled 37 losses, and are going through a tough period as has been the case throughout the season. However, this can be a chance for players like Giddey and Dort to expand their game further while rookie Tre Mann has been starting for the depleted Thunder lineup. Can the Harden-led Nets compile a blowout win against the struggling Thunder? For my game total and result prediction, jump to “Expert Betting Tips”. For my player-based statistics prediction, hop over to “Player Performance Prediction”.Claim Your Sign-Up Bonus!
76ers big acquisition, Thunder is preparing for lottery
Can the 76ers make a big playoff push?
The Philadelphia 76ers have more than a decent shot at the top spot in the Eastern Conference and with 28 games to go in the season, if they are able to win 67% of the games from here, they can secure the home-court advantage at least for the first round. They have three games out of the next four on their home floor before the All-Star break, and well, this is a crucial phase to get going. The 76ers certainly look stronger with Harden in the mix but let us how it pans on both ends of the floor.
With Harden, the team will get a tremendous playmaker, shooter, and also someone who can score in multiple ways, basically a high-scoring Guard, an aspect that was missing. However, it will be interesting to see how James adjusts to this new system and well, he has had a tough season efficiency-wise but with Embiid in the middle, he can get more shooting space. On the other hand, Tyrese Maxey has generated quality offense throughout the season but how will he fare with another dominant ball-handler? Harris is a stable Forward option who knows how to make adjustments from here on. Can the 76ers launch a deep run from here in a growing East?
Thunder’s seasonal woes
Oklahoma City Thunder is having a difficult season and their season trajectory has gone on as predicted. The Thunder lacks the offensive means to stay afloat as the main core is still young and is figuring out the defense of the NBA. The Thunder has been especially struggling these days as the team’s main scorer in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been missing and a team that struggled to score with their main scorer will have further problems with him out. But the Thunder won’t mind all of this as provides an opportunity to someone like Josh Giddey to take the reins and develop in the right direction.
Coming to Josh, he has shown a lot of potential as he has already become a terrific rebounder and his scoring keeps on improving. Josh has the chance to become a two-way all-around threat and he has impressed during most games with his effort. Luguentz Dort has served well as the two-way but if the team has better three-point shooters, he can be even more effective. Darius Bazley has been a strong big Forward and he has shown a lot of promise in the long run. Meanwhile, rookie Tre Mann needs to really develop his shot selection as he keeps on misfiring while youngsters Aleksej Pokuvesksi, Kenrich Williams, and Ty Jerome have improved as the season has ticked on, especially Aleksej.
Supposing they are available, these are my player-based predictions:
- I believe Josh Giddey will score at least 15 but below 20;
- I see Luguentz Dort scoring at least 18 here;
- I believe Joel Embiid will grab at least 12 rebounds here;
- I think Tobias Harrris will score at least 18 but below 24;
- I see Darius Bazley being held under 14;
- I believe Tyrese Maxey will score at least 16 points here.
Expert Betting Tips
Points Range: The 76ers have scored usually in the 106-109 range but it may expand depending upon whether James Harden figures out his role here or not. With Embiid, Harris, and Maxey, along with Harden, they can nab around 110 points. On the other hand, the Thunder have been limited to fewer than 100 points on a regular basis especially since Shai has been out. With the offense falling, perhaps, the team is losing the defensive discipline as well and has given up 110-117 points. I think the Thunder will score at least 100 here but not as much as 110. I think the total points range here is 210-220.
Prediction: Embiid will present a host of challenges with his overall scoring package, rebounding, and just his presence on both ends. Bazley, Dort, Giddey, Aleksej, Kenrich, and Mann may struggle against the gritty defense of 76ers but with a new entrant Harden, the 76ers defense can be in a bit of miscommunication. However, four of the defenders in main five gel well, namely Maxey, Harris, Embiid, and Thybulle. I see the 76ers taking this game 116:103.
- Philadelphia 76ers- Total Points Over 111.5 for 1.90;
- Total Over 209.5 for 2.03;
- Spread: PHI 76ers -12.5 for 1.90.