Team Records: Portland (10-3) at Philadelphia (0-13)
Game Info: 4 PM-TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -12.5
Refs: Joey Crawford, Michael Smith, Haywoode Workman
The Skinny: The Blazers travel to Philly looking to avoid becoming the first team to lose to the lowly Sixers Monday night. The Sixers are dead last in the NBA in virtually every category and have only been close to winning a few times this year. Philly last won a game on April 16 in their final regular season game of the 2013-14 season.
Last Season: The teams split the season series last year, with both winning on the road.
Projected Sixers Lineup:
PF-Nerlens Noel (Kentucky-Rookie)-7.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.8 APG.
SF-Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (UCLA-7th Season)-8.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.3 APG.
C-Henry Sims (Georgetown-3rd Season)-8.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.3 APG
SG-Tony Wroten (Washington-3rd Season)-17.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.8 APG.
PG-Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse-2nd Season)-14.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4.3 APG.
Player to Watch-Nerlens Noel (pictured at right)-After a year sitting on the sidelines with an injury, it was finally Noels’s time to shine this year. He’s full of physical talent, athletic, and an excellent shot blocker. The rest of his game needs more than a little refinement. Noel has struggled in rebounding, scoring, turning the ball over and in free throw shooting. Still, on a team as bad as Philly, the good news is that he can have as much time as he wants and he will doubtless improve. There is little chance he will be pulled in favor of someone else, after all.
Did You Know?: All fifteen players on the Sixers roster are 6-6 or taller.
Song of the Day: “Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme Song” Okay, so I saw an episode of this show last night, remembered how cool it was and realized it refers to Philly. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-PG CJ McCollum (Finger)
Philadelphia: Out-C Joel Embid (Foot), SF Jerami Grant (Ankle), SG Jason Richardson (Knee)
The Sixers are going to be one of the worst teams in NBA history. They will not go 0-82 but they will likely be underdogs in every single game they play this year, yes even against the Lakers at home. They are dead last in offense by a margin that is as big as the gap between the 29th best offense and the 20th best. The Sixers don’t do anything on offense at all well, they shoot poorly, they turn the ball over a lot and they don’t pass well. On defense they are not dead last but they are close to it, allowing near league worst shooting percentages from everywhere on the court. The Sixers have only lost four games by less than ten points this year and only a few times was it even close. Losing to them will take some doing.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They are focused. The Sixers are terrible, the Blazers are good. If the Blazers are focused and ready to go, this should be an easy win.
Philadelphia wins if: They hold Portland under 90 points. The Sixers are a bad enough offensive team that they need to play well on defense, their marginally less horrible unit, to have any chance. If they can hold Portland under 90, they might have a shot.