The NBA Playoffs are officially here. The playoffs begin with a series of first round matchups involving both conferences. The top eight teams of the Eastern Conference are paired together and play each other until one team remains.
The Sixers are the third seed of the Eastern Conference. They finished the regular season with a record of 51-31.
The Sixers are arguably one of the best teams in the East. They have enough talent to compete but certain factors dictate their failure. For example, injuries could play a part in their success or failure.
According to reports, Sixers center Joel Embiid could miss today's game. Embiid is dealing with a knee injury.
He told reporters that he has no idea if he'll be able to play in Game 1. Elton Brand, general manager of the Sixers, said that it is possible Embiid will miss the game.
At this point, Embiid's level of pain will determine if he plays. Embiid is a key player for the Sixers and they need him healthy.
The Sixers also have Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris. Simmons averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in the regular season. He averaged 17.8 points and 6.8 assists in the season series against the Nets.
Simmons was day to day due to a dental procedure. He missed Wednesday's game but should be ready for this series.
Butler averaged 18.7 points and 5.3 rebounds. He averaged 21.5 points against the Nets. Butler is a veteran that the Sixers could benefit from. They also have another veteran in Tobias Harris. Harris averaged 20 points and 7.9 rebounds.
The 76ers acquired Harris in a trade before the trade deadline. Since then, he has played well for them. Now, the Sixers will rely on Harris and Butler to help them advance. The 76ers are a good team, but so are the Nets.
The Nets are the sixth seed of the Eastern Conference. They finished the regular season with a record of 42-40. Nets guard D'Angelo Russell had an impressive season. He averaged 21.1 points and 7 assists in the season.
His stats against the Sixers are nearly identical to his season stats. Russell is a candidate for the Most Improved Player. He will likely keep up his level of play and have a good series against the Sixers.
The Nets played well throughout the entire season. Their performance this season led to their first playoff appearance in four years.
They will likely play well in this series and give the Sixers competition. Regardless, the Nets are officially a playoff team and a team of the future.
Predicted starting line-ups:
Sixers: Ben Simmons (PG), Zhaire Smith (SG), Jimmy Butler (SF), Tobias Harris (PF), and Boban Marjanovic (C)
Nets: D'Angelo Russell (PG), Joe Harris (SG), DeMarre Carroll (SF), Rodions Kurucs (PF), and Jarrett Allen (C)Published 13 Apr 2019, 08:03 IST