When: 4:00 PM MST
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Watch: NBA TV, Bally Sports Arizona, NBA League Pass
Listen: 98.7 FM
The Phoenix Suns have won three straight contests against the Philadelphia 76ers, and they’ll look to extend that to four in what would be a statement win coming fresh off of a... statement win in Milwaukee.
This road trip will show us what they’re really made of. So far they’ve answered the call, though there’s plenty of work to be done. Playing 5 road games in 8 days against some of the hottest teams in the NBA (on the east coast nonetheless) will be quite the test. Then right when you think you’re out of the woods and get back home to Phoenix, the Clippers and Jazz games are staring right at you.
Philadelphia has been a very good team at home this season, sporting a 22-6 record at Wells Fargo Center which is good for second-best in the NBA at home behind only the Utah Jazz. Phoenix, on the contrary, is the best road team in the NBA with a sparkling 18-7 record away from home.
Devin Booker’s career splits against Philadelphia (11 games):
29.7 PPG (1st), 4.5 APG, 4.4 RPG, 62 TS%, 48% 3PFG (1st).
Just some downright absurd numbers.
PHX: Abdel Nader (OUT)
PHI: Ben Simmons (QUESTIONABLE), Tobias Harris (QUESTIONABLE)
(assuming Simmons and Harris play)
PHX: Chris Paul—Devin Booker—Mikal Bridges—Jae Crowder—Deandre Ayton
PHI: Ben Simmons—Seth Curry—Danny Green—Tobias Harris—Joel Embiid
Keys to the Game
- Embiid vs. Ayton
This is the heavyweight battle that we are all waiting for. Deandre Ayton is playing the best basketball of his young career right now, and he’ll have his hands full going against one of the top centers in the association.
The major key here will be to keep Ayton out of foul trouble, as Embiid is a master at drawing fouls and getting himself to the line to gain an offensive rhythm. Joel is averaging an eye-popping 29.9 points per game on a 63.8 TS%.
He does a lot of his damage at the line, averaging just under 12 a game. Ideally, you limit his attempts at the charity stripe and do your best to keep him out of the paint. Easier said than done.
- Bench Mob battle
The 76ers’ bench is a fun, underdog-type group similar to the Suns’ bench in some ways. Whoever wins this battle will likely win this game, with Philly’s streaky trio of Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, and Tyrese Maxey have the ability to swing games when they are clicking.
The same could be said for Phoenix’s trio of Cam Payne, Cam Johnson, and Dario Saric along with newcomer Torrey Craig. This is the underlying story beneath the mammoth star matchups on the surface.
- Does Booker snap out of shooting funk?
Based on his track record against Philly, this game could be exactly what the doctor ordered to get Booker out of this mini-slump he’s been the past few games from the field. As mentioned above, Booker’s splits against Philadelphia are insane, so let’s hope he can continue his success against them.
We all remember what he did earlier this year against the 76ers, but he’s been torching them for years now.
Devin Booker dropped 32 2nd half points in a win vs the 76ers! He finished with a season-high 46 PTS (17/32 FG)pic.twitter.com/5qs8B93Cwb— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 5, 2017
Suns win 110-105.