Ben Simmons returns to Philadelphia on Tuesday night to take on a super depleted 76ers team. And when I say depleted boy do I mean depleted.
Philly will be without James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid for this one, while the Nets will have their Big Three in the lineup. Welcome to blowout city...wait, I’m not supposed to say things like that out loud am I? Sorry.
Seriously, though, it’s tough to see how the 76ers can hang with this Nets team. Sure, the Nets can get out to a big lead early and take their collective foot off the gas which gives you one of those “closer than we wanted it to be” kind of games, but there’s also a narrative where the Nets would love to go into Philly and embarrass the 76ers. And that’s the one I’m going to run with tonight.
You with me?
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (8-9) at Philadelphia 76ers (8-8)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. est
WHERE: TNT (national TV), WFAM-FM (radio)
The crowd will be rocking for Simmons’ return. It wouldn’t matter if Philly’s starting five was the cast of It’s Always Sunny; these fans bought tickets long in advance, and are not going to waste an opportunity to jeer their hearts out. They’ll roar even louder when KD and P.J. Tucker inevitably get into it. Shake Milton and Tobias Harris, with the greenest lights they’ll ever see, are capable of putting up numbers. Georges Niang may hit five threes. But at some point, the talent disparity should be too much for Philly to overcome. Extra possessions for the Sixers, though, can render that disparity a moot point.
The good news is that the Nets should come out much more motivated than they did for a classic trap game vs. the Grizzlies on Sunday. A nationally televised game in that environment? Kevin Durant could probably motivate me and Matt Brooks to chip in ten off the bench. As long as that energy translates to the boards, Brooklyn should be alright in this one.
For more on the 76ers, check out Liberty Ballers.