Difficult test tonight for San Antonio Spurs in Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Breaking their losing streak won’t be easy for the San Antonio Spurs. The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the more difficult matchups in the league.

Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs will go up against their old friend Brett Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers tonight in what is sure to be an exciting game. Brown got his start in the NBA with the Spurs back in 2002 before taking over as the head coach of the Sixers.

Brown has endured a lot as the coach of the Sixers and now has built a team that is one of the most intriguing in the NBA. The first thing that stands out about this team is just how big they are. Able to start giants such as Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Al Horford, and Tobias Harris together the Sixers can put every other time at a significant size disadvantage.

Gregg Popovich finally changed up the starting lineup on Wednesday when he deployed Patty Mills and Bryn Forbes together as the Spurs backcourt and swapped Trey Lyles out for Jakob Poeltl. The starting group will likely change again tonight. You just can’t have two of the worst defensive players in the NBA as your starting backcourt when playing a group this large.

LaMarcus Aldridge will be guarded by Embiid or Horford for most of the night. Those are both tough defenders, keep expectations for Aldridge to a minimum. He’s looked like he’s lost a step and will be up against two of the better big man defenders in the NBA. The Spurs will have to look elsewhere for scoring production.

As they have for most of the season the Spurs will look to DeMar DeRozan to carry the scoring load. He’s coming off of back to back games of 30+ points and has hit on 60 percent of his shots in four of the last five games. He will need to be at his very best if the Spurs have any hope of snapping their losing streak tonight.

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Gameday bets and prediction

Spread: Spurs +7.5Over/Under: 221.5

Player prop bets: None available

All betting information courtesy of The Action Network.

I doubt the Spurs win this one but they may cover. They’ve got one of the best offenses in the NBA right now. Even though they’ve been on a losing streak most of the losses have been pretty close. Covering that spread seems manageable. I’d be the over as well. The Sixers came into the season with aspirations of being one of the best defensive teams in the NBA but have so far failed to live up to that. Meanwhile, the Spurs have one of the absolute worst defenses in the league. Together the two make a recipe for what should be a high-scoring Spurs loss. It’s getting pretty frustrating to see the same result night after night but I doubt that changes tonight.

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There is light at the end of the tunnel. Even though they’ll be playing on the second night of a back to back the Spurs do get to play the New York Knicks tomorrow night. If they can’t snap this losing streak against the Knicks it’s time to take a serious look in the mirror and consider making some pretty drastic moves.