The Philadelphia 76ers will host the Brooklyn Nets in this blockbuster clash in the East. While the 76ers lie at the top of the table with a 16-7 record, the Nets are as much of an NBA title contender as them, if not the favorites from the Conference, even with a worse 14-10 record currently.
Date & Time: February 6, 2021, 8pm ET
Venue: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Preview | Philadelphia 76ers
They are coming to this contest after snapping their four-game winning streak with a loss against the Portland Trail Blazers, making it evident how much Ben Simmons‘ contribution goes beyond the stat sheet.
Simmons missed the game with calf tightness. The team missed his presence on both ends of the floor, and they could not get many open looks at the basket without him. While he does not take threes, one cannot underestimate his ability to create them with his penetration inside the paint. He will likely be fit and available for this encounter to wreak alongside MVP candidate Joel Embiid.
Starting 5 for the Philadelphia 76ers
Guard – Ben Simmons
Guard – Seth Curry
Center – Joel Embiid
Forward – Tobias Harris
Forward – Danny Green
Preview | Brooklyn Nets
The Nets are also coming into this game with a 117-123 loss against the Toronto Raptors. However, the focus of that game wasn’t the result but the situation surrounding Kevin Durant. There was confusion at the start of the game if the officials should pull him out after he came in close contact with a person who returned inconclusive tests, while KD himself tested negative three times.
However, they allowed him to play on as the league’s health and safety protocols do not stipulate a quarantine for players until the contact in question tests positive. But during the third quarter, while the officials were reviewing a foul call, he was removed from the court after the person in question returned a positive test.
This was baffling to Steve Nash & Co. Now, the league is reviewing the call after KD’s criticism and he could be out for several games if they confirm his quarantine.
Starting 5 for the Brooklyn Nets
Guard – Kyrie Irving
Guard – James Harden
Center – DeAndre Jordan
Forward – Joe Harris
Forward – Bruce Brown Jr.
Predictions | Sixers vs Nets
Without their best player, Kevin Durant, the Nets will be the underdogs against a Sixers side that will be bolstered by the return of Ben Simmons. Irving and Harden will need to step up and have a big night if they want to have a sniff at victory.
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