Philadelphia 76ers vs New Orleans Pelicans

Philadelphia 76ers vs New Orleans Pelicans | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

Written by on April 9, 2021

Two of the NBA’s most dominant players will face off on Friday for the first time in the 76ers’ Joel Embiid and Pelicans’ Zion Williamson as Philadelphia visits New Orleans. The Sixers will be favored on the NBA odds but by how much depends on the injury status of the Pels’ Brandon Ingram.

How to Bet 76ers at Pelicans NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 8 PM ET
  • Where: Smoothie King Center
  • TV: NBA League Pass
  • Stream:com, NBA TV app
  • Radio:com

Last Meeting

First meeting of season. Last year, the teams played just once and the Sixers won 116-109 at home. Zion Williamson didn’t play. Brandon Ingram scored a game-high 32 points for New Orleans. Tobias Harris registered a team-high 31 points for Philly, while Joel Embiid added 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Ben Simmons added 24 points and 11 assists. Philadelphia leads the all-time series 19-18 but is 7-11 at the Pelicans.

Why Bet on Philadelphia? | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis 

The Sixers got a big win in Boston on Tuesday, 106-96, to sweep the season series for the first time since the 2000-2001 season. It was a small bit of revenge for Philadelphia, which was swept by Boston in the first round of the playoffs last season. Philadelphia led by 21 in the second half of the opener of a four-game trip. It has won three of four overall.

Joel Embiid hit 9-of-19 shots and made 16-of-20 from the free throw line, finishing with 35 points, six rebounds, one assist, one block and one 3-pointer in 33 minutes. The 20 free throw attempts are the most that he’s tallied in a game since January 20, when he had 21 in a win over the Celtics. In his two games back from the bone bruise in his left knee, Embiid has attempted a total of 37 free throws. The team is 26-7 this season when he plays.

Embiid said after Tuesday’s win regarding getting to the line: “It doesn’t matter who’s in front of me. As we’ve seen all season, it doesn’t really matter who has been in front of me. I just attack every single game I want to be aggressive. I want to get the other bigs in foul trouble, I want to get to the bonus early so now they’re going to stop playing physical. Even if they play physical I’m going to use that to my advantage to get the free-throw line.”

Danny Green was 5-for-6 from deep in the win for 17 points. Green has been one of the biggest beneficiaries since Joel Embiid made his return from a bone bruise in his left knee. In the two games that Embiid has played, Green has shot a combined 8-of-12 from beyond the arc, tallying 26 points. Green has at least two made three-pointers in 13 straight games.

Tobias Harris scored 10 points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. Ben Simmons scored 12 points to go along with six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Simmons has at least one steal in each of his last 10 contests.

This will be the first time the Sixers have ever faced Pelicans star Zion Williamson.

Why Bet on New Orleans? | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis 

The Pelicans lost their second in a row Wednesday, 139-111 in Brooklyn. In his return from a long injury absence, Nets star Kevin Durant came off the bench with about 7 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter and by the time the period ended the Nets had 79 points and a 20-point halftime lead. Brooklyn was a sizzling 14 for 18 (78%) in its 43-point quarter.

“We got dominated at both ends of the floor. Totally dominated,” Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We couldn’t get out to the 3-point line. Our defense was absurd. They totally dominated us.”

Pels superstar Zion Williamson had just 16 on 4-for-12 shooting, ending his streak of 25 straight games with 20 points and 50% shooting. That tied Shaquille O’Neal for the longest such streak since 1954-55, when the shot clock debuted.

Eric Bledsoe was ejected from Wednesday’s blowout loss after collecting two technical fouls, finishing with 26 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes. Lonzo Ball also had an efficient outing, going 6-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the line for 15 points, three assists, one 3-pointer, one steal and one turnover in 28 minutes.

Jaxson Hayes (ankle) hit 5-of-7 shots for 11 points, six rebounds, one 3-pointer and one turnover in 24 minutes off the bench – he was in question after tweaking his ankle on Tuesday.

Pels second-leading scorer Brandon Ingram missed a fifth straight game with a sore right foot and is questionable Friday. Rookie point guard Kira Lewis Jr. missed a third in a row with a calf injury. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (left high ankle sprain) and Josh Hart (right thumb sprain) are both out a few weeks.

Expert Prediction

  • 76ers 117, Pelicans 112

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