The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to build on an impressive outing Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics. This is the second game of a 4-game road trip for Philly. This is also the first meeting between the Sixers and Pelicans this season. The Sixers have won 4 straight against New Orleans dating back to the 2018 season.
The Pelicans have lost a stride as of late. After beating the Celtics on March 29th, they have lost 4 out of their last 5 matchups. Their only win in that time frame was against the 14-37 Houston Rockets.
After putting up 35 points Tuesday night, Joel Embiid is set to be fully healthy for Friday's game. The starting 5 should remain: Simmons, Curry, Green, Harris, Embiid. George Hill, however, is still out with a thumb injury.
Injuries will be a big factor in this game, as the Pelicans will have four players out of their rotation due to injury. Most notably, Brandon Ingram will be out for Friday night's game with a foot injury, he has missed the last 5 games nursing the injury. Rookie Guard, Kira Lewis Jr., is also ruled out for Friday's game with a right calf strain. Josh Hart sidelined as well, with a right thumb sprain, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker is out with an ankle injury.
Three-point shooting will be a big key in this matchup. Players like Danny Green, Seth Curry, Shake Milton, and Furkan Korkmaz will have to step up to the plate and deliver for the Sixers. Without Ingram and Hart, the Pelicans will dominate the paint. Embiid will not be able to win this game by himself.
This game displays a Point Guard duel between Ben Simmons and Lonzo Ball. Both players are excellent in transition and are among the league's best passers. Ball is averaging close to 6 assists per game, while Simmons is averaging 7.2.
Zion Williamson will be a key player for the Pelicans. The Sophmore Power Forward is averaging 26 points per game on 66% TS. Williamson will be a dominating force in the paint, as he is shooting 70% from inside 3 feet of the basket this season.
Game Time: 8 pm, April 9th
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Follow: @PHISportsToday on Twitter for live, in-game updates.