WHILE it’s too soon to hit the panic button just yet, there’s no doubting that the 2018/19 NBA season has not got off to the blistering start the Philadelphia 76ers or Ben Simmons would have liked so far.
6-5 and sixth in the conference after 11 games, the 76ers are coming off a disappointing loss to the upstart Brooklyn Nets on Monday in a game that highlighted some of the key issues that some worry could derail a deep playoff run come next year.
While Joel Embiid is enjoying an NBA MVP-calibre season, averaging 28.4 points and 12.6 rebounds a game so far, the rest of his teammates have not quite taken the leap with him.
As good as Ben Simmons is and as young as he still is at 22 years of age, he wouldn’t be satisfied with his start to his sophomore year, seeing slight dips in points (15.8 to 13.9) and assists (8.2 to 7.5) after the first 10 contests.
While some will point to the opportunities granted to former number one pick, Markelle Fultz, as a reason behind those slight drops, his struggles from the free-throw line, where he still only averages .623% and his jump-shooting outside of the key are going to continue to hold him back from becoming truly elite.
On Thursday the 76ers and Simmons face a quality eastern conference opponent in Indiana, which sits third in the standings. Can they make a statement in this early grudge match?
Let’s take a look at our NBA multi tips.
Thursday, November 7 NBA multi of the day:
Games start 11am AEDT
76ers to beat Indiana – $2.17
Pistons to beat Orlando – $1.84
Nuggets to beat Grizzlies – $1.64
Jazz to beat Dallas – $1.17
NBA Thursday multi analysis
While we expect Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to be strong contributors against Indiana, it’s going to be the lift in outside shooting and bench production that will help Philadelphia top the Pacers.
Meanwhile, Detroit’s twin towers Andre Drummond and Blake Griffen will prove too strong for Orlando, despite the Magic’s hot form lately.
The Nuggets, fresh off a five-game winning streak, will continue to roll their way towards a return to the western conference playoffs when they take care of a spirited Memphis.
To cap things off, we’ve gone for a bit of an odds kicker with the Jazz to do the business over the inconsistent and streaky Dallas. Utah’s defence will be too much for Doncic and co.
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