In the last two games, the Philadelphia 76ers have been absolutely scorched by Kyrie Irving and Paul George for 37 points apiece. The good news is the Sixers still won both those games and currently sit 1.5 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for first place in the Eastern Conference. What a time to be alive, etc., etc. The bad news is that tonight’s opposing star, Stephen Wardell Curry, is on an even bigger hot streak than those other guys.
In the month of April, Curry is averaging 39.9 points per game across nine contests. In Golden State’s last four games, Steph has gone off for 53, 42, 33 (what a weird off night), and 47 points, making double-digit 3s in three of those games. Curry now has five games this season with 10-plus 3-pointers made; the rest of the NBA as a whole has five combined. Steph now has 20 such games over the course of his career; the next highest total for any player is teammate Klay Thompson with five. What I’m saying is that a historically great shooter is in the midst of a currently great hot streak. The Sixers’ hands are going to be fuller tonight than Kevin Malone carrying the chili pot in The Office.
Now, of course, the Warriors will also have their hands full with the Sixers’ own All-NBA player, who has been playing pretty, pretty well himself. Joel Embiid has scored at least 36 points in each of his last three games, re-entering the MVP conversation despite recently missing about three weeks with a bruised knee. Draymond Green is one of the best defenders of all-time, but I don’t know if even his vaunted versatility will be enough to make up for the size mismatch handling Joel. Another big man option, Juan Toscano-Anderson is unlikely to play tonight after suffering a concussion on an amazing hustle play, diving over the scorer’s table to save a loose ball. I’d wager Kevon Looney is also not the solution. We could certainly be in store for an Embiid free throws vs. Curry 3-pointers battle royale.
That is, if Curry even suits up, as he is listed as questionable with an ankle sprain. He did play through the injury while dropping 47 on Boston Saturday night, so we’ll assume he goes. The head-to-head brotherly matchup is even more questionable, though, with Seth still on the injury report with his hip injury. Tobias Harris and Dwight Howard are also listed as questionable, but so too is George Hill, which is an upgrade for the recent trade deadline acquisition. Doc Rivers had earmarked sometime this week as when Hill would make his Sixers debut, so tonight could be the night when the veteran guard finally takes the floor following his thumb surgery.
Tune in tonight for the Steph fireballs, the Joel beastquakes in the lane, the possible debut of the league’s most generically helpful guard in Hill, and hopefully, the Sixers’ fifth-straight win.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors
When: 7:30pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Philadelphia: George Hill – questionable (thumb); Tobias Harris – questionable (knee); Seth Curry – questionable (hip); Dwight Howard – questionable (knee)
Golden State: Klay Thompson – out (achilles); James Wiseman – out (knee); Eric Paschall – out (hip); Juan Toscano-Anderson – questionable (concussion); Kelly Oubre – questionable (wrist); Steph Curry – questionable (ankle);