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.
The Philadelphia 76ers scored 39 points in the first quarter against the Lakers. Los Angeles is so bad without LeBron, it’s insane. But hey, nothing that a return from a groin injury (a disguised month vacation) and Anthony Davis can’t solve.
— Andrew Powell (@andrewrpowell) 30 January 2019
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.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
CHECK THE NUMBERS
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.
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.