SUBJECT: Sixers (13-13)
Just a quarter into the season, Philly's locked in a fight for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. The final steps of the Process, 2018 should mark the first time Philly's young core turns potential* into production - there's intrigue across the roster.
At 13-13, PHI has certainly had its ups and downs. But even thru Joel Embiid not yet playing back to backs (+ other roster injuries; Fultz, Markelle), the Sixers still find themselves with a .500 record. Ben Simmons is the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year, avg. 17.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg & 7.1 apg.
His dominance despite making a single 3-pointer thus far, is a microcosm of Philly's limitless ceiling. This week will take note of PHI's young stars: Simmons & Embiid + vital Star UnderDOG Dario Saric.
On a side note, this week will track Philly's reserves, most notably new acquisition Trevor Booker.
A two-game assignment v. possible playoff teams - can Brett Brown's group silence interconference foes?
Prediction: PHI will go 2-0
*in terms of talent & a clean bill of health
Philly's strong play is usually tied to domination on the boards and efficient contributions across the board. The league's top rebounding team (48.7/night), Coach Brown benefits from a lineup ft. four players at least 6'9" or taller (Covington, Saric, Simmons & Embiid).
The frontcourt rotation is a key storyline this week, as Trevor Booker settles into regular minutes. Booker put up 16 & 9 v. NOP the other day - since acquired, he hasn't yet played alongside a full roster w/ Embiid, Covington, Saric, Amir Johnson & Richaun Holmes all in action. We'll take note of who Coach Brown decides to with, as well as what did (and didn't) work
@ MIN & v. OKC is a nice, two-game slate to follow.
With both teams featuring top-heavy rosters, let's take note of how Philly's able to contain opposing top players and whether they can control the glass & play efficient offense.
Prediction: PHI will go 1-1
- B. Simmons: 10+ dimes in both games
- D. Saric: avg. 18+ ppg
- 10+ triples in both games
- Projected Top DOG of the Week: Ben Simmons
- Projected Star UnderDOG of the Week: Dario Saric
- Outrebound both opponents
- Embiid: 12+ boards per game
- Less turnovers in both games
- 48+ from the field in both games
- Higher bench scoring in both games