In a mouth-watering NBA fixture, two potential title-contenders in the form of Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns go head-to-head on Wednesday. The Philadelphia 76ers suffered at the hands of Stephen Curry in their last NBA game, as the likes of Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris left NBA MVP contender Joel Embiid with a bit too much to do.
The Phoenix Suns, on the other hand, are one of the biggest surprises of the 2020-21 NBA season and got back to winning ways against the Milwaukee Bucks in dramatic fashion the last time around. Devin Booker, Chris Paul and DeAndre Ayton all produced at least 20 points as Giannis’ had to be taken off during the overtime.
Phoenix Suns vs Philadelphia 76ers – prediction
The Phoenix Suns have been thoroughly impressive in recent weeks, with their guard-paring of Chris Paul and Devin Booker producing some incredible numbers between them. DeAndre Ayton has been in incredible shooting form of late, and struck 8 of his 11 jumpers the last time around.
On the other hand, the Philadelphia 76ers will be optimistic about their chances with their star duo of Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris expected to return to the lineup. Simmons, like Embiid, is a contender for the defensive player of the year award, while Harris is the 76ers’ second most prolific scorer, with 20.5 points per game. The Philadelphia 76ers are slight favorites to win this matchup.
Phoenix Suns vs Philadelphia 76ers – combined 5
Point Guard – Chris Paul l Shooting Guard – Devin Booker l Small Forward – Ben Simmons l Power Forward – Tobias Harris l Center – Joel Embiid.
The guard-pairing of Chris Paul and Devin Booker means that Ben Simmons only gets included in this hypothetical combined 5 at the small forward position. Chris Paul is averaging more than 15 points along with 8.8 assists and has arguably been the most important player for the Phoenix Suns this season. He went up to fifth on the all-time NBA assists-list after his performance against the Bucks and walks into the combined 5.
Devin Booker has been in game-winning form all season and is averaging more than 25 points per game. His inclusion means that Ben Simmons will take up the small forward spot. His defensive intensity was missed by the Philadelphia 76ers in their last match against the Warriors. Simmons’ two way impact and ability to force turnovers will be crucial against the Phoenix Suns as well.
Finally, Mikal Bridges’ impressive form this season has been overshadowed for this combined 5 by the prolific consistency of Tobias Harris. Harris has shown a huge uptick in his shooting efficiency this season and is averaging more than 20 points for the first time in four years.
At center is MVP contender Joel Embiid, who beats the impressive DeAndre Ayton due to his ability to dominate proceedings. Embiid is averaging close to 30 points per game and has 11.2 rebounds as well. This is his best ever season with respect to points, shooting efficiency and steals. Embiid is also shooting at a high 37.8% from the 3-point zone from 3.1 attempts per game.