76ers

Sixers vs. Nuggets: 3 storylines to watch and how to live stream the game

Sixers vs. Nuggets: 3 storylines to watch and how to live stream the game

After an exciting NBA trade deadline (in which the Sixers acquired five new players!) an Elton Brand press conference, and a Moses Malone statue unveiling at Legends Walk (and a jersey retiring to happen this evening), can you believe there is still a game to play?

And it is a big one. The Sixers (34-20) are taking on a team that currently stands at second place in the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets (37-17), at Wells Fargo Center. There are so many storylines to follow, it’s hard to keep it to just three. First, here are the essentials:

• When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
• Where: Wells Fargo Center 
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

And here are three storylines:

New core

It’ll be the first glimpse of Tobias Harris in the Sixers' starting lineup, alongside Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick. Keep in mind that this group will have had zero practice time together, but getting to see the future of the new core, and how these guys feed off each other is definitely going to be the highlight of this one.

New bench

The Sixers added Mike Scott, James Ennis, Jonathon Simmons and Boban Marjanović to their bench. One of the biggest criticisms of this team had been their lack of bench depth, especially at the wing. With the new construction of this roster, we’ll get our first look into whether this bench is better equipped come playoff time. (Ennis is still in the process of being cleared for tonight’s game, while Simmons will not play, according to a team source).

And then there’s Denver … and Nikola Jokic!

The fans are still starved for that Jokic vs. Joel Embiid matchup! The last time these two teams played, the Sixers rested Embiid, and fell 126-110 in Denver. Jokic came out aggressive, posting 17 points and seven rebounds in the first. You better believe Embiid has this one circled. Prior to resting against Denver a few weeks ago, Embiid said, “You best believe that if I play, I'm going to go crazy."

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Sixers Talk podcast: Training camp is coming

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NBC Sports Philadelphia/YouTube

Sixers Talk podcast: Training camp is coming

Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick go back and forth about JJ Redick's comments about the importance of team dinners, five Sixers landing on SI's top 100, and Joel Embiid saying he has lost 25 pounds.

• Discussing nuggets about Jimmy Butler and the quadruple doink from JJ Redick's appearance on the Lowe Post.

• Sports Illustrated's Top 100 for 2020 came out. The rankings are mostly fair but the guys have one gripe.

• Joel Embiid said he lost 25 pounds ... but he clearly didn't lose his sense of humor.

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JJ Redick believes Sixers needed more team dinners on road last season

JJ Redick believes Sixers needed more team dinners on road last season

Philadelphia 76ers fans are generally excited about the new roster construction heading into the 2019-2020 season but there's no doubt the sharp shooting of JJ Redick will be missed.

Redick took his talents down to the bayou and will suit up for the New Orleans Pelicans this season. JJ joined ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe on his podcast this week to talk about his new opportunity. They also reflected a bit on his time with the Sixers and the tough loss to the eventual NBA Champion Toronto Raptors in the playoffs after four bounces of a Kawhi Leonard desperation shot.

JJ is open about the fact that the decision to move on to New Orleans was partly financial.

"I never got the sense that [the Sixers] didn't want to bring me back, unfortunately it came down to a little bit of economics," Redick said.

Jimmy Butler's decision to move on to the Miami Heat obviously precipitated that move. Redick speaks highly of Butler regardless of his decision.

"I love Jimmy. I would play with Jimmy again," Redick said. "He is in the upper tier of two-way players and in the upper tier of offensive players in the NBA period."

So Redick has moved on to New Orleans, but it's tough not to think back to what could have been. There was a point in the Toronto series where Redick believed the Sixers were capable of winning the NBA championship last season.

"Joel and I spent some time together after the season and we talked about it. It was Game 4 [against Toronto] for us. We lost that game and I felt like, for most of that game, we had control, not just that game but that series. We had a chance to go up 3-1. That was the opportunity that we missed. You lose that game and it's 2-2 and you've got to win 2 out of 3 against Toronto and that's a tough task."

One other interesting nugget from Redick's time in Philly was his sharing that he believed they didn't do enough team dinners on the road.

"I wish, I've tried, I wish, the team meal on the road is huge. I think it's huge. We didn't do it enough last year in Philly. We tried. It wasn't enough. Some of that, look, nobody wants to be forced to go to dinner. It's got to be real and authentic."

Some other choice quotes from the pod below.

On Ben Simmons getting a jumper.

"Ben works. He worked all of last off season. I witnessed him during the season get his shots up after practice every day. I think he'll be able to shoot at some point. A lot of it is confidence. He can shoot a high enough clip when he's shooting spot shots that it should translate to shooting threes in a game. The video that went viral, looks to me like he's shooting with some confidence there."

Lowe also asked JJ about the dagger shot in Toronto.

"I was on the bench," Redick said. "I sort of had that perfect angle cause as soon as the ball had come in bounds I sort of walked on to the baseline. Not on the court, but onto the baseline so I could get a straight-on view of the action. My memory may be a little jogged but my arms were crossed, I was watching the ball bounce around the rim, and it went in. I'm not sure I had any initial reaction, I think it was just shock. Part of you wants to walk off the floor and punch a wall and the other part of you, if I'm the Raptors, I'd want to dap up the people that I had just played a seven game series against. I stayed on the court and talked to Kyle, Marc, Kawhi, Danny and those guys. Told them I hope they win a championship and walked off. Then you get back to the locker room and you see the emotion, I was obviously feeling emotional, then Joel started crying. Those are the sorts of moments that you don't forget. As much as you don't forget the shot, the aftermath of moments like that, you just don't forget. There's just a lot of raw emotion."

You can listen to JJ's entire conversation with Zach Lowe right here.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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