It’s Nikola Jokic against Joel Embiid on Saturday night in Philly. The 76ers host the Denver Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center. The two big boys will clash in another chapter of their rivalry as they once again attack the MVP honors. For the moment, Jokic has two, while Joel has none, but is determined to put his hands on this year’s award. The Nuggets are on tour through the West, while Sixers did their traveling last week.
Denver Nuggets (34-15, TBA) defeated the New Orleans Pelicans down in Louisiana, and after that, they’ve lost to the Bucks in Milwaukee, where they met Giannis, but without Jokic, Murray, and Porter Jr.
That clash ended 107-99 in favor of the Bucks, who earned this triumph much tougher than expected. Denver’s backups fought vigorously, trying to make a surprise and earn respect from the home audience. The Nuggets had problems on the offensive side, where they made only 39.2% of shots from the field. We need to add that Mike Malone’s unit had 51 boards, two more than the Bucks.
Aaron Gordon had 26 buckets, a team-high, plus he added 14 boards. Bones Hyland scored 15 off the bench, and Bruce Brown had 12. It was tough for the Nuggets to do anything without three top scorers, and Caldwell-Pope, who didn’t play too.
Philadelphia 76ers (31-16, TBA) have six straight victories and look like they hit the championship speed. What is impressive here, is that they posted most of those wins on the road, as Sixers traveled through the West (California mostly) before getting back home, where they beat the Nets in the most recent event.
Embiid and the boys were better than the Jazz, Lakers, Clippers, Trail Blazers, and Kings. The win over the Nets was very efficient, beating the franchise from Brooklyn 137-133. Philly shot 51.2% from the field, and 47.4 % for three. They’ve allowed the guests to shoot even better, but that didn’t cost them at all.
Embiid had 26 points and 10 boards, Maxey scored 27, but off the bench this time, hitting six threes in nine attempts, and James Harden dropped 23 and seven assists, with five downtown hits. Melton added 19 and Tobias Harris had 18.
Head to Head Games
This is the first meeting between the Nuggets and the Sixers this year. Last season we saw both teams winning one game; interestingly, the guests were better on both occasions. The first meeting was midway through November in Colorado, where Philly won, 103-89, and the second in March when the Nuggets hit back in the City of Brotherly Love 114-110.
It will be extremely interesting to see Jokic and Embiid squaring off. They usually deliver a memorable night, with 30+ points coming from both guys, and plenty of memorable moves. Regarding the game, if the Nuggets have all of their players at their disposal, and they should have, we will go with them beating the hosts, even though the odds aren’t on their side. The reason for that is Denver’s slightly better defense and equally powerful offense. We expect MPJ to be an X-factor because Tobias Harris can’t compete with him.
Pick: Denver Nuggets Win
Here is the preview for the Knicks vs. Nets game.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.
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