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Philadelphia 76ers vs Brooklyn Nets Prediction: Combined starting-5 featuring Joel Embiid and Kyrie Irving

Philadelphia 76ers vs Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers vs Washington Wizards
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Modified 07 Jan 2021, 20:04 IST
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It will be a clash of Titans this Wednesday in the 2020-21 NBA, as the Brooklyn Nets host the Philadelphia 76ers.

Both sides, who are favorites in the Eastern Conference this season, met previously in the first round last season's playoffs, where Joel Embiid dominated the Nets, helping the Philadelphia 76ers sweep the series in four games.

In their first matchup of the new season against the 76ers, the Brooklyn Nets will miss Kevin Durant in their lineup for the second consecutive game due to COVID-19 safety protocols. The irony will not be lost on Net’ fans, as they missed him in last year's playoffs as well, where Durant was out with an injury. 

On that note, let us have a look at a hypothetical combined starting-five of both teams ahead of their matchup.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Brooklyn Nets Prediction: Combined Starting-5

In their last outing, the Brooklyn Nets featured four new starters, with Jarrett Allen as their primary center.

The move worked wonders, as Allen held Rudy Gobert in his tracks to help the Nets register their best performance of the season, a 130-96 win. Kyrie Irving sank his first nine shots of the game, finishing off proceedings with 29 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Meanwhile, the red hot Philadelphia 76ers enter this game on a seven-game winning streak and have the best record in the NBA this season.

In their last game, they beat the Wizards 141-136 in a high scoring battle. Bradley Beal put up a massive 60-point performance for the Wizards, and Embiid replied with a team-high of 38 points along with eight rebounds and five assists.

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Point Guard - Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)

Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving is a six-time All-Star who won his first NBA Championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2016.

Uncle Drew gets the credit for sinking the dagger that sealed Game 7 of that series in a historic performance alongside his former teammate LeBron James. 

Fast forward to 2021, and Kyrie Irving is still performing at an elite level. He has arguably the best handle the league has ever seen and competes with the heart of a champion.

This season, Irving is averaging 27.1 points, 6.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds in seven games for the Brooklyn Nets. That makes him an ideal pick for the point position in our hypothetical combined starting-five of the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Shooting Guard - Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)

Philadelphia 76ers vs Indiana Pacers
Philadelphia 76ers vs Indiana Pacers
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Ben Simmons will come in at the two-guard position to complete our backcourt, considering his lock-down defensive attributes.

Simmons has been a vital part of the 76ers lineup that has performed exceptionally this season. Coach Doc Rivers has high hopes for the 24-year-old, as the 76ers aim to go all the way to the NBA Finals this year.

While Simmons has underperformed in scoring the ball so far, he could only get better, as the season has just started. The two-time All-Star made the NBA All-Defensive team last season for his stellar defensive play.

This campaign, he is averaging 13.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 32.8 minutes.

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Published 07 Jan 2021, 20:04 IST
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