Philadelphia 76ers vs Golden State Warriors NBA Pick – January 31st

Soak it in, because we don’t know how many more we will get.

Tonight not only marks a power game between the Philadelphia 76ers (33-18) and Golden State Warriors (36-14), but it’s also just the second meeting between two of the best big-men in the league: Joel Embiid and DeMarcus Cousins.

Another interesting factor about the matchup tonight is that Golden State is currently riding an 11-game winning streak — can they continue the success against another team full of All-Stars?

Both teams are coming into tonight completely in form.

For Philadelphia, they would blaze the Los Angeles Lakers for a 39-point first quarter on Tuesday, and of course I had to chime in.

Real talk though. The Sixers would go on to win against the Lakers in blowout fashion, 121-105.

For Golden State in their last game, they would square off against the Indiana Pacers on Monday. They would clinch a perfect 5-0 road trip after destroying Indiana by 32 points, 132-100. The Warriors are undefeated since the January 18 season debut of DeMarcus Cousins.

Between the two, Golden State has won the last 10 meetings against the 76ers. Visiting Oakland, Philadelphia is currently holding a six-game losing streak. In those six defeats, Embiid was only in action for one of them. In the game, he wasn’t his best tallying just 12 points and a total of seven turnovers. The Sixers would lose that game, 135-114.

The big-man on the other team, DeMarcus Cousins, makes his home debut for the Golden State Warriors tonight. During the five-game road trip, he’s averaging 15.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 3.6 APG — this on just 21.8 minutes-per-game.

In the only meeting against Joel Embiid on December 26, 2016, Cousins (who was then a member of the Sacramento Kings) would post 30 points and seven rebounds, and would also hit the winning three-point shot with 20.9 seconds remaining in the game. After hitting the winner, he would then block a three-point attempt by Embiid that could have tied the game up.

In Embiid’s defense, he was a rookie during the only meeting between him and Cousins. He would still deliver with numbers, however, putting up 25 points and eight rebounds, but he also added eight turnovers on his resume that night.

After sitting out Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets due to rest, Embiid would score 28 points, grab 11 rebounds and also add six assists in his last outing against the Lakers.

Philadelphia comes in healthy tonight as well after getting Jimmy Butler back from injury. Against Los Angeles, Butler would put up 20 points with five rebounds, six assists, and five steals. That game would also mark just the 21st time this season that the Sixers have been able to play their actual starting lineup: Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Wilson Chandler, JJ Redick, and Ben Simmons.

In those 21 games, the 76ers are an elite 15-6.

Golden State is also expected to have their health back tonight. After a minor injury against the Indiana Pacers, Draymond Green will be returning for the Warriors.

Also notable, Kevin Durant will be going for his 15th straight win over the Philadelphia 76ers, with the first 11 coming while with the Oklahoma City Thunder — just one of the multiple streaks that Golden State is riding on.

Tip-off for this battle between two of the best teams in the NBA is set for 10:30 PM ET, and will be nationally televised on TNT. Golden State is a -9.5 favorite at home.

INJURY REPORT

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

  • NONE

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

  • JONAS JEREBKO: Personal (Out — Day-to-Day)


PLAYERS TO WATCH

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

JOEL EMBIID
The 7’0″ big-man out of Cameroon holds no prisoners, and dominates whatever opposition is in his way — that’s expected when you’re one of the best players in the world and effective in literally every statistical category. In scoring, he’s ranked seventh in the league posting a potent tally of 27.2 PPG. Embiid is averaging a double-double this season, with the second double coming in rebounding with 13.3 RPG. He also makes his mark in ball movement as well averaging 3.6 APG. And on defense, still effective, compiling a number of 1.9 BLKPG.
BEN SIMMONS
This kid is making things happen, whether by himself or through his teammates. Ben Simmons has been a beauty to watch on the court piling up a stat line that nearly puts him in triple-double territory for the season. With an elite 21.04 PER, Simmons at the most is only 1.8 tallies away from averaging double figures in every category. In scoring, he’s a solid contributor at 16.7 PPG. On the rebounding side, he’s only 0.5 away from the double mark at 9.5 RPG. And in ball movement, he’s also near 10 with 8.2 APG.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

STEPHEN CURRY
Coming in with the sixth-highest PER in the league and also tied for second in scoring, Steph Curry also makes his mark in ball movement and on the glass. What else would you expect from Chef Curry? With a steaming 26.87 PER, Curry is only 0.7 points away from the 30 mark averaging 29.3 PPG. In the assist market, he’s also adding to the scoreboard through his 5.4 APG. And despite the 6’3″ height, he’s also grabbing down 5.1 RPG. And not just offense, but Curry is effective on the defensive side: He’s averaging 1.2 STLPG.
KEVIN DURANT
KD needs to be a focus in this game, and that’s due to his 14-game winning streak against the Philadelphia 76ers. Not only does he know how to win against the Sixers, but he knows how to dominate — that’ll come in handy against their 33-18 record tonight. For the season, Durant is sitting at fifth in the league in scoring averaging 27.7 PPG. Only 2.8 away from a double-figure, he’s sitting with 7.2 RPG. And what else do you expect with a 24.90 PER? Durant is also lethal in ball movement, tallying a number of 5.9 APG.

CHECK THE NUMBERS

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

For the Philadelphia 76ers, they come in with solid numbers this season, but in comparison to the Golden State Warriors, they only hold one of the categories. (Which itself is impressive against a team with five All-Stars.) On the offensive side, they’re -4 with a number of 115.7 PPG. In shooting, they’re -2, but hitting a solid 47.3% of their shots. Their only advantage comes in rebounding: +1 with 47.4 RPG. On the defensive side, it’s another negative for the Sixers. They’re -1 allowing 112.1 PPG into their net.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

As expected, the Golden State Warriors come in with the grip over the majority of statistical categories. They hold the edge in points-per-game, points against and field goal percentage. In points production, they’re +4 nearly hitting the 120 mark at 119.1 PPG. Hitting their shots, the Warriors are at the 49.1 FG% mark, which is +2 over the Philadelphia 76ers. In rebounding, Golden State is in the red, but it’s only a narrow -1 averaging 46.8 RPG. But they turn it around with a +1 edge themselves on defense with 111.8 PA.

POWELL’S PREDICTION

The Philadelphia 76ers are being challenged to stop a team with a starting lineup that has an All-Star in literally every position, how do you stop that? Even the odds are doubting the Sixers with them being a +9.5 underdog, as well as the game forecast giving Golden State a 70% chance to win.

I’m with the odds, and with basic logic, why on earth would anyone bet on the 76ers to win against Golden State in Oakland tonight? What a payday that would be though if Philadelphia pulled off the win, but that’s not happening. The first phase of the game should be entertaining, but as time goes along, the Warriors should eventually separate themselves for the win.

For the -9.5 spread, go ahead and take Golden State to cover that. They have all of their All-Stars in the rotation for full health, and have homecourt advantage to go along with it. Philadelphia has massive firepower, but not enough to keep with the Warriors in Oakland. Don’t take the over at 240.5, way too high. Golden State’s defense will slow down the points production of the 76ers and will screw up that bet for you if you choose to make it.

PREDICTION: Golden State Warriors 123, Philadelphia 76ers 110

My Pick
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS -10
Andrew Powell / Author

Andrew Powell has been working with The Sports Geek since November 2018 providing analysis and predictions in both the realms of sports and politics. Studying journalism through the University of Michigan, Powell's experience in sports includes tenures at mainstream newspapers The Williamsport Sun-Gazette and The Lock Haven Express, and he would also be affiliated with FOX Sports Radio 1340 AM in Hopewell, Virginia. In politics, it would include a stint with Mad World News and multiple with the Republican Party. From the Super Bowl to The Kentucky Derby to President Donald Trump's hair, Powell has you covered at The Sports Geek.