Cleveland Cavaliers at Philadelphia 76ers Preview
The Cleveland Cavaliers spent the majority of last season at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. We are only weeks in, but the Cavs are currently 4-4 having won their last two games and are seventh in the Eastern Conference. They’ll look to extend their winning streak tonight as they are on the road in Philadelphia against the host 76ers.
The 76ers are fifth in the East with a 6-3 record. They won their last game and so far, they are undefeated at the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia was on a three-game skid until their win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night.
The Cavs, too, had lost three straight but got over the hump with consecutive wins against the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks.
Time: 7 PM ET
Arena: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Channel: NBA TV
Cavaliers: Dylan Windler, Ante Zizic, John Henson (O)
76ers: Shake Milton (D), Al Horford (0), Ben Simmons (Q)
Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup
The big story in Cleveland this season so far has centered around sophomore point guard Collin Sexton, who is averaging nearly 19 points per game.
But while his offense is looking great, Cavs coach John Beilein has spoken glowingly of the player’s improvement on defense.
“I love the way he attacks the basket, but I think what’s being underrated here is his growth from last year to this year on his defense,” Beilein said. “You can see he’ll still make a mistake every now and then — everybody does — but for the most part, he’s an athlete who should become a very good defender.”
In the Cavs’ 108-87 blowout of the New York Knicks on Sunday, Sexton had 31 points to lead Cleveland. His work on the defensive end was as important as Frank Ntilikina was limited to just four points.
Jordan Clarkson came off the bench for 17 points in the win and Kevin Love had 17 and eight rebounds.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
The 76ers started the season off on fire, being the last undefeated team in the league, but they’ve now faced their share of adversity, dropping three consecutive games and having to play without Ben Simmons, who is questionable for tonight’s game.
Philadelphia had a much-needed 114-106 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.
“Obviously, we were in some close and tough-fought games, but for us it’s just about turning the next page and getting on to what’s next and today was a good start to that,” Tobias Harris, said. “We just need to continue to progress after that.”
Harris contributed to the 76ers’ win with 14 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. He was one of six players that scored in double figures, led by Joel Embiid’s 18 points and nine rebounds.
Furkan Korkmaz has been quite the sixth man for the 76ers this season, and on Sunday, he came through once again, scoring 17 points off the bench. Trey Burke also had 12 points as part of the reserve unit.
Last season this might have been considered an easy win for the 76ers, but the Cavs are a scrappy team that seems to be improving.
Key Player Matchups
Joel Embiid vs. Tristan Thompson
Embiid and Thompson obviously have not been the best of friends and Embiid trolled Thompson hard before last season, so this should be a fun battle and the tweets afterward could be just as entertaining. Embiid is obviously a top-three center in the league, but Thomas has been playing well this season, averaging 16.4 points and 11 rebounds per game. Still, this matchup is Embiid’s to lose.
Ben Simmons vs. Collin Sexton
If Ben Simmons plays tonight, this will be an intriguing matchup to follow. Simmons obviously has the size, but Sexton has the speed and he’s one of the more physical point guards so he won’t shy away from Simmons. Simmons usually does a good job when being matched up against speedier guards. He’ll usually funnel them into the second line of defense, where Al Horford and Joel Embiid look to stop their penetration or block layup attempts.
Joel Embiid and Kevin Love are fantasy studs for tonight’s matchup. Love is available for $8.2k on FanDuel and he has a projection of 42.04 points. Embiid provides exceptional value at $9.4k with a projection of 49,74 points.
If you’re looking for a value add for your team, look to Collin Sexton, who has a salary of $5.7k and a projection of 26.71 points. For the 76ers, the player is Furkan Korkmaz, who is a steal at $4.2k for 23.11 points.
Bet on Matchup
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