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Ben Simmons in doubt as Philly faces Bucks and Hawks crunch games

Simmons in doubt for crunch games
Ben Simmons has got a back injury and missed the 76ers last game.

The 76ers are off to a good start to the second half of the NBA season winning their first game after the All-Star break. They were at home and beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 in OT where All-Star Joel Embiid went big going for 39 points and 16 rebounds.

Fellow All-Star Ben Simmons missed the game due to back tightness and is listed as questionable for Philly’s next game, which is a big one. In their next game, they hit the road to face the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the best record in the NBA.

Overall, the 76ers have won four in a row and this is after losing four straight. The team is in the playoff picture, but the first half of the season was still a little bit of a disappointment. They are in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference and need a strong second-half push to move up in the standings.

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The 76ers’ strength is their defence ranking second in the NBA in opponents’ points allowed. Even with five players averaging at least 12 points per game the team only ranks 22nd in the league for scoring. Philadelphia’s main issue this season has been their play on the road. At home, they have been nearly unbeatable with the league’s best home record of 26-2. However, on the road, they are only 9-19. They have a tough task improving on that record considering their Saturday night game against the Bucks is in Milwaukee.

Embiid (22.9 ppg 11.9 rpg) leads the 76ers in scoring and rebounding and after the win over the Nets, he praised himself as the best player in the world. That may be a stretch, but the big man is averaging 28.8 ppg over his last four games. Tobias Harris, who averages 19, scored 22 points in the Nets’ game, and has 12 rebounds in each of his last two games.

The team could use All-Star Simmons (16.9 ppg 7.9 rpg 8.3 assists per game) against the Bucks, as facing the best team in the Eastern Conference shorthanded and on the road is a tough task, to say the least. Simmons had two triple-doubles in his last two games before the All-Star break and the 6’10” point guard has averaged 21.4 ppg over his last seven games.

Philadelphia 76ers v Bucks betting tips

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This game against the Bucks in the first road game for the 76ers after the All-Star break. The team’s last loss was to the Bucks in Milwaukee 112-101 on February 7. To win this time around they need a better game from Embiid, who had 19 points in the recent loss to Milwaukee where he was only 6-26 from the floor. Simmons only had 11 points in the game and the Philly defense had no answer for the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo, who went off for 36 points and 20 rebounds.

In the first match-up with the Bucks this season, which was in Philadelphia on Christmas, the 76ers beat the Bucks 121-109 outscoring them by 15 points in the fourth quarter. In that game, the 76ers kept the Greek Freak in check holding him to 18 points, making just 8-27 shooting. Can they do that again on the road where they have struggled mightily this season? Big question.

The Bucks game is a tough one to call with Simmons a question mark. Still, not only have the 76ers been bad on the road this season but the Bucks have the second-best home record at 25-3. The Greek Freak will have a big game and just like the last matchup between these Eastern Conference rivals the Bucks will get the win and cover the spread sending the 76ers to yet another road loss.

76ers v Bucks tip: Bucks

$1.70
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Atlanta Hawks v 76ers betting tips

The 76ers are back at home after the Bucks game on Tuesday night facing a Hawks’ team that has the second-fewest wins in the Eastern Conference. Philly has split the two games against the Hawks this season with both games in Atlanta. They beat them very early in the season but in the last matchup facing them on January 31, they took a 127-117 loss. In that game, the 76ers allowed more than 20 points than their season average and allowed Trae Young to score 39 points.

Young is coming off a 50-point game in his last game and he is the player the 76ers need to watch closely. While Philadelphia is not a high-scoring team they face an Atlanta team that ranks second last in the NBA, giving up an average of 118.9 ppg.

Embiid may have a big game, as recently acquired centre Clint Capela is out for a while with a foot injury and will not play against the 76ers.

In their first game facing the Hawks at home this season, the 76ers will play well on both sides of the floor. They will win this game and win big, which means they will cover the spread.

Hawks v 76ers tip: 76ers

$1.80
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