From Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
After winning in Minnesota on Friday, the Sixers continue their road trip. Next up is a matchup against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday evening. Here are three things to keep in mind in matchup.
Great man battles
Much like the Lakers, the Pacers are one of the few teams in the NBA that is still rolling out an old school forecourt. With Myles Turner and Damontas Sabonis in the lineup, Indiana will be a lot of size to pelt at Joel Embiid.
The Lakers were the same size to slow Embiid down, but it still wasn’t enough to take in the MVP front runner. How he manages to face two capable Bigs again will be an important storyline in this game.
Embiid has had success against the Pacers in the past. In 10 career games against her, he averages 28.4 PPG and 12.6 RPG. He’ll have his hands full on the forecourt, but if he can keep fouling at the speed he did it should make his life a little easier.
Since the Sixers got back to health, one thing has caught their eye that this team showed at the start of the season. In this final stretch, the Sixers have received solid production from players like Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle.
If Doc Rivers can keep getting good minutes out of these players, their three stars play will make the team even more dangerous. The Pacers don’t have much depth on their roster, so the benching fight will be something to see in this matchup.
With Milton and Maxey’s scoring chance combined with the defense Thybulle played, the Sixers’ second session can cause problems for the teams. Doc Rivers said earlier this season that he believed the banking unit would win a few games for the team this year and this could be one of those games.
Satisfy the Pacers with jump shots
With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in the lead, it’s no surprise that the Sixers are among the best defensive teams in the league this season. In defending this Pacers team, the Sixers should try to clog the lane and content them with perimeter shots.
The clogging of the lane will make life harder for Sabonis, whose offensive game revolves around his aftermath. The other reason they should be because the Pacers weren’t a good long ball team this season.
On the way to that match, Indiana is currently in 18th place in the league with a three-point percentage at 35.7%. Additionally, they could also do without Doug McDermott in this game, who is one of their top marksmen from Beyond the Arch.
The only Pacers threats from deep below are Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Holiday, the rest to live with if you are content with outdoor shots. If Embiid can make life difficult for the Pacers on the fringes and turn them into jump shooters, it could lead to a Sixers win.