Things to Watch: Sixers versus Cavaliers
The Sixers have a quick turnaround after their win against the Knicks on Saturday night. They continue their road trip on Sunday night, facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here are three things to watch in the matchup.
First back to back of the season
This game is going to be the first back to back for both teams this season. With that being said, fatigue could play a major role. On top of it being a back to back, both teams had to travel last night as the Cavs were also on the road.
The Sixers have a slight edge heading into this game. Although both teams played last night, the Sixers were able to get their starters off their feet while the Cavs played a game that went into double-overtime. This should give them an advantage of being the fresher team heading into Sunday night.
Doc Rivers hasn't said how he plans to handle the load management of Joel Embiid this season. With the team playing three games in four days, there is a chance he could be sitting this one out. The All-Star center has looked like he is in great condition so far this season, leaving a small chance that Rivers allows him to take the floor.
Ben Simmons staying aggressive
One takeaway early in this season is the aggressiveness that Ben Simmons has shown on offense. He has done a much better job asserting himself on offense and getting to the rim. This is a matchup that Simmons should thrive in, as the Cavs don't have an answer for him defensively.
Simmons put on an offensive showcase the last time he faced off against the Cavaliers. In 25 minutes of action, he had 34 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks, and knocked down a shot from deep.
The improved spacing has opened up lanes for Simmons to attack and get to the rim. Between that and the improved pace, he should have no problem leaving his mark on this game offensively.
Cavs' young backcourt
After having to go against Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal to open the season, they have another backcourt duo to worry about. Now Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are not the same caliber of players as Beal and Russ, but they are the center of the Cavs' offense.
Both guards are three-level scorers who have no problem scoring points in bunches. Slowing them down needs to be the focus for the Sixers defensively in this one. This shouldn't be an issue as the Sixers' defense has looked elite to say the least.
Simmons and Danny Green have played well defensively to start this season. If they can use their length to chase Sexton and Garland off the perimeter and towards Embiid at the rim, they should have no problem containing the two young guards.