The last time these two teams met, the Philadelphia 76ers only had seven active players in a 115-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Now, the Sixers 32-14 Sixers will try to avoid their first losing streak since mid-February on Tuesday against the 28-18 Nuggets.
Here’s what to look out for:
Revenge after an unfair game, but still some injuries
The Sixers only had seven players available for their Jan. 9 game vs. the Nuggets, a 115-103 loss where Tyrese Maxey scored 39 points on a strange day.
“I think it showed us that, despite who’s on the floor, whoever we’re playing, we have an opportunity to win,” Dwight Howard said Monday. “We have a very deep team. We’ve got a lot of confidence in each other, and I think it’s built over the season. I think that Denver game really showed a lot of our players that we can compete with anybody at a high level night in and night out.”
Joel Embiid (left knee bone bruise) and George Hill (recovery from right thumb surgery) are the only Sixers out for Tuesday’s game. Denver’s Monte Morris is also sidelined with a left quadriceps strain. The Embiid vs. Nikola Jokic matchup would’ve been the main attraction if both players were healthy.
Could we see some more BBall Paul action?
Head coach Doc Rivers said Monday that Embiid might be available to return this weekend.
For the time being, however, Howard is the team’s only healthy traditional center. Mike Scott, who’s started the last two games, is four for his last 26 from three-point range. If there’s an ideal occasion to give Reed minutes in the Sixers’ rotation, it might be now.
Rivers played Reed nine minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers but didn’t use him until garbage time Saturday. Reed grabbed six offensive rebounds in the season’s first Sixers-Nuggets game, his first extended NBA action.
Nugget’s new frountcourt with Aaron Gordon acquisition
Deadline acquisition Aaron Gordon made his Nuggets debut in the team’s win Sunday over the Atlanta Hawks, posting 13 points in 21 minutes. Jokic also had a relatively light day in that blowout victory, playing 28 minutes. He’s played in every one of the Nuggets’ 46 games.
Gordon had a rough game the first time he played the Sixers this season, shooting one for eight in the Magic’s blowout loss on New Year’s Eve.
He’s guarded Simmons frequently in recent seasons and appears the most likely candidate to get that assignment again Tuesday.