76ers

Predictions for Game 2 of Sixers vs. Nets playoff series

Predictions for Game 2 of Sixers vs. Nets playoff series

After the Sixers' 111-102 loss to the Nets in Game 1 of their first-round series, it's time for Game 2 (8 p.m./NBCSP). 

Can the Sixers brush off Saturday's letdown? Paul Hudrick and Noah Levick give their predictions:

Hudrick 
Joel Embiid is questionable, but with the team down 1-0, I’d be surprised if the All-Star center doesn’t go. Expect Embiid and Jimmy Butler to be the focal points for the Sixers offensively. Hopefully, Embiid will feel a little better and be able to dominate on the low block like he did early Game 1.

Obviously, the Sixers need way more out of JJ Redick, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons (I’ve listed them in order of concern level). Redick’s shortcomings are apparent and known, but he’s a veteran that can light it up at any point. Harris had a brutal end to the season, but I still think he can produce once he gets out of his own way.

Simmons is the guy with the most troubling pattern. He’s still just 22 and trying to lead a team with lofty expectations. The Nets packed the paint and it clearly threw Simmons off in Game 1. I see Simmons bouncing back. Brooklyn doesn’t have the horses to keep him under wraps. He had a few good looks early, but seemed to get discouraged after they didn’t fall.

Lost in a discouraging loss, the Sixers weren’t terrible defensively. The Nets shot 43 percent from the field. The dangerous trio of D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert combined to shoot 24 of 57 (42 percent). That’s encouraging.

The Sixers won’t shoot 3 of 25 from three and will get better performances out of their starters. They come into this one with something to prove and will head to Brooklyn with the series tied.

Levick 
The Sixers’ problems with pick-and-roll defense, their bench being outplayed, and their lack of a true offensive identity are concerns not exclusive to Game 1.

However, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick all having poor games on the same day and the team shooting terribly from three-point range (3 for 25) are, in all likelihood, outliers. I don’t expect either of those things to happen today.

I think taking an early lead will be especially important in Game 2. The Sixers need to brush off the gloomy, dejected vibes of Game 1 and prove they’re not only the more talented team in this series, but that they’re capable of playing as a cohesive unit. 

Brett Brown’s adjustments will matter, and there are plenty of possibilities on the table —  Will he play Jimmy Butler more at the point and Simmons more in the post? Does he stick with Jonathon Simmons as his primary backup wing? Will the Sixers make any changes to their pick-and-roll coverage?

Yet it feels like this game could hinge more on the Sixers’ desperation and desire than anything else. The Sixers don’t need this game, but it should matter a lot more to them than it does to the Nets. I think they’ll play with more sustained energy, identify a few things that work outside of Butler pick-and-rolls offensively, and even the series.

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Sixers Talk Podcast: Tom Haberstroh joins the pod to talk NBA free agency, draft

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sixers Talk Podcast: Tom Haberstroh joins the pod to talk NBA free agency, draft

On this episode of Sixers Talk, Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick are joined by NBC Sports national NBA insider Tom Haberstroh to talk about NBA free agency and the draft.

Tom talks about the Anthony Davis trade, the dysfunctional Rockets and weighs in on the #RunItBack discussion.

Do you trust Elton Brand and the Sixers to get the draft right? Danny is worried about the Sixers' recent track record while Paul is ready to stand on a table for one prospect.

Come for Danny's Kobe Bryant story and stay for the draft chatter.

2019 NBA Draft: Order of pick selection for Thursday night

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USA Today Images

2019 NBA Draft: Order of pick selection for Thursday night

The 2019 NBA draft is upon and the Sixers currently hold five picks — one in the first round and four in the second. GM Elton Brand talked to the media Tuesday about the optionality that comes with having five picks and a few of the things the Sixers may be looking for in a prospect.

The top three picks in the draft seem pretty set, but with the Anthony Davis trade forcing the Lakers to send pick No. 4 to the Pelicans, things could get interesting. Who do David Griffin and company like? Will they move the pick for more picks or for a veteran player?

Here is the full draft order:

1. New Orleans 
2. Memphis
3. New York         
4. New Orleans (from Lakers)
5. Cleveland
6. Phoenix           
7. Chicago
8. Atlanta 
9. Washington
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
11. Minnesota
12. Charlotte         
13. Miami 
14. Boston (from Sacramento via Sixers)
15. Detroit 
16. Orlando           
17. Atlanta (from Brooklyn)          
18. Indiana            
19. San Antonio     
20. Boston (from Clippers via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Boston
23. Memphis (from Utah)
24. Sixers
25. Portland
26. Cleveland (from Houston)
27. Brooklyn (from Denver)
28. Golden State 
29. San Antonio (from Toronto)
30. Milwaukee

Second round

31. Brooklyn (from New York via Sixers)
32. Phoenix 
33. Sixers (from Cleveland via Orlando and New York)
34. Sixers (from Chicago via Los Angeles Lakers)

35. Atlanta
36. Charlotte (from Washington via Orlando, Denver and Atlanta)
37. Dallas
38. Chicago (from Memphis)
39. New Orleans
40. Sacramento (from Minnesota via Portland and Cleveland)
41. Atlanta (from Los Angeles Lakers via Cleveland and Indiana)
42. Sixers (from Sacramento via Brooklyn and Milwaukee)
43. Minnesota (from Miami via Charlotte)
44. Atlanta (from Charlotte)
45. Detroit
46. Orlando (from Brooklyn via Memphis and Charlotte)
47. Sacramento (from Orlando via New York)
48. LA Clippers 
49. San Antonio
50. Indiana
51. Boston
52. Charlotte (from Oklahoma City)
53. Utah
54. Sixers
55. New York (from Houston)
56. LA Clippers (from Portland via Detroit and Orlando)
57. New Orleans (from Denver via Milwaukee)
58. Golden State
59. Toronto
60. Sacramento (from Milwaukee)

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