Updated: 6:20 p.m.
The Sixers (25-15) are coming off a rough loss and are looking for a measure of revenge against the Pacers (24-15) Monday night.
Just like in the beatdown the Sixers took in Indiana a couple weeks ago, the team will be without Joel Embiid as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn radial collateral ligament in his left ring finger.
Malcolm Brogdon (strep throat) and Domantas Sabonis (sore left knee) are both starting after being listed as questionable. The Pacers are still without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo (right knee), who is planning to return at the end of the month.
Here are the essentials:
When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia+
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
And here are three storylines to watch:
The last time these teams met on New Year’s Eve, it wasn’t pretty. The Sixers found out they’d be without Embiid not long before tip-off and his teammates sleepwalked in a 115-97 drubbing.
After the game, Josh Richardson voiced his displeasure, telling reporters there was a lack of “accountability” in the locker room.
The message was received, and his head coach and teammates agreed with the sentiment. Since the comments, the team is 2-2, but has shown signs of life with nice wins over the surprising Thunder and the rival Celtics.
Effort didn’t appear to be the issue in Dallas Saturday. We’ll see which Sixers team shows up Monday.
The Pacers have been banged up and had to start former Sixers T.J. McConnell and JaKarr Sampson in their win over the Bulls Friday. Indiana has lost three of four, but the Sixers’ road woes have continued (7-13).
The flaw we all saw coming
The Sixers let JJ Redick walk in the offseason. He had two of the best seasons of his career in Philly, averaging 17.6 points a game and shooting 40.7 percent on 7.3 attempts from three.
GM Elton Brand never gave an exact reason for not re-signing Redick. Money was surely a factor, but it also appeared that Brand was focused on defense. We’ve seen teams expose Redick on that end, especially in the postseason.
With the said, this team is clearly lacking shooting. The Sixers are 12th in the NBA in three-point percentage. That’s obviously not a terrible number, but they’re 25th in terms of attempts per game.
The bottom line is this team needs to take and make more threes. On Saturday against the Mavs, they were 9 of 37 … and it took them going 5 of 10 in the fourth quarter when the game was pretty much over to get there.
This team was built to be a defensive bully, but they still need to score. For the Sixers’ offense to be at its best with both Embiid and Ben Simmons on the floor, they need to be surrounded by shooters.
The trade deadline is Feb. 6. Brand will likely have work to do — especially if there are more shooting performances like Saturday's.
Need more from Simmons
Speaking of the lack of shooting, you could see how that affected Simmons in the second half in Dallas. The Sixers’ point guard went scoreless (0 of 4, three turnovers) after halftime when Dallas steamrolled them.
When the team isn’t hitting shots around him, it exacerbates all of Simmons’ issues in the half court. It also seems like the team’s shooting woes occasionally leak into its defense. When the Sixers aren't getting stops, that limits their transition opportunities, which severely reduces Simmons’ effectiveness offensively.
Simmons obviously has his issues with his unwillingness to shoot. When his teammates are throwing up bricks and not turning the opponent over, it limits Simmons’ imprint on a game.
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