The Phoenix Suns won a potential NBA Finals preview in wild fashion Monday night in Milwaukee, and the Suns look to knock off another Eastern Conference contender on their home court Wednesday in visiting the Philadelphia 76ers. William Hill Sportsbook oddsmakers have Phoenix as a 2-point favorite on the NBA odds with the Sixers listing Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Seth Curry all as questionable. That spread would skyrocket if they all sit.
Philadelphia had a four-game winning streak snapped Monday in a 107-96 home loss to Golden State as Steph Curry went nuts again with 49 points for the Warriors. Simmons was out with a non-COVID illness and Harris sat with a sore right knee. Furkan Korkmaz and Mike Scott replaced Simmons and Harris in the starting lineup.
Embiid had a monster game with 28 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists as he attempts to catch betting favorite Nikola Jokic in the MVP race. It didn't appear that Embiid was injured at any point but is being listed with as questionable simply due to left knee recovery. Curry had 15 points but is listed as iffy with a left hip issue.
Those four questionable 76ers combine to average 77.3 points, 28.1 rebounds and 16.7 assists. So, yeah, the Suns could catch a MAJOR break. Also note that the Sixers play again Thursday at Milwaukee, and beating the Bucks would be more important in terms of finishing atop the East because of tiebreakers than beating the Suns would.
This writer has found just one instance where the Sixers played without Embiid, Simmons, Harris and Curry this season, and that was a 115-103 home loss to Denver on Jan. 9. Embiid and Simmons were dealing with injuries then and Harris and Curry in COVID protocols. Tyrese Maxey became the clear No. 1 option and finished with 39 points on 18-for-33 shooting in the loss.
Phoenix looks healthy entering this game with the only notable injury list players being Cameron Johnson (available) and Dario Saric (probable).
The Suns beat the visiting Sixers 120-111 on Feb. 13 behind 36 points from Devin Booker – he has scored at least 30 points in seven straight vs. Philadelphia. The Sixers had their usual starting five, with Embiid scoring 35 points. The Suns are 4-1 against the spread in the past five meetings.
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