Ed Solano’s NBA Play of The Day: Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers
– By Eduardo Solano
It’s been a while, but it’s good to be back with NBA Picks at Pub Sports Radio! The NBA Bubble is in full swing since July 30th, and the Phoenix Suns, the best team after the NBA restart, go for their seventh straight win in Orlando when they clash with a Philadelphia 76ers squad that will miss their two superstars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Tuesday, August 11th – 4:30 PM ET at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida
Can Anyone Stop the Suns?
An inspired Devin Booker, and an excellent head coach in Monty Williams have Suns just 0.5 games behind the Trail Blazers for a Western Conference play-in spot! Booker dropped 35 points in three quarters, and Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson had 18 points apiece, combining for nine 3-pointers.
The Suns were 17-for-34 (50.0 percent) from beyond the arc to beat the Thunder 128-101 on Monday, despite turning the ball over 19 times.
The Thunder were without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (calf contusion), Steven Adams (leg), Danilo Gallinari (ankle) and Nerlens Noel (ankle).
Sixth Man of the Year candidate Dennis Schroder (plus-1.1 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) left the bubble for the birth of his second child, and many may say that the Suns caught a break. Still, you can’t underestimate a team that has wins against the Mavericks, Clippers, Pacers, and Heat in the NBA bubble.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid Out on Tuesday
Sixers star Ben Simmons left the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World to have surgery on his injured knee, and he’s expected to miss the rest of the season. Simmons had the surgery in Philadelphia to remove a loose body on his left knee, and he will stay there for rehab.
Simmons headed to the locker room on the August 5th game against the Wizards midway through the third quarter because of an injury that was diagnosed as a subluxation of the left knee cap.
The 76ers sent the following statement:
“After consultation with the 76ers medical staff and several specialists, Ben Simmons will undergo surgery in the coming days to remove a loose body in his left knee.”
Philadelphia is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, and they will likely face the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
Ben Simmons is a talented and versatile weapon. He was averaging 16.4 points, 8.0 assists, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.1 steals in 35.4 minutes over 57 games this season.
“I feel for him,” 76ers head coach Brett Brown said. “We don’t know what ultimately is going to happen, but if people understood, he severely hurt his back in Milwaukee, and to go through everything that he’s been through, he looks physically different than what he did in March.
He has worked physically to come back stronger. To get his back rehab, to have a cardio base, to have a physical condition, he had to have done a lot for me to have seen what I’ve seen, so I feel bad for him that this situation has happened after all of the hard work that he’s put in.”
The Sixers moved Simmons to the power forward spot for the NBA restart, and now their offensive focus will turn to their star center Joel Embiid… The problem is that he injured his left ankle on Sunday’s game against the Trail Blazers and won’t play on Tuesday.
76ers Starting Lineup Without Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid
C: Al Horford
PF: Mike Scott
SF: Tobias Harris
SG: Josh Richardson
PG: Shake Milton
Not having Ben Simmons (plus-2.3 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) and Joel Embiid (plus-1.1 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) will make the 76ers suffer significantly on defense.
As for their offense, without Simmons (plus-1.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) and Embiid (plus-4.1 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, and Al Horford will have to carry the load. Richardson exploded for 34 points against the Trail Blazers, and Alec Burks added 20 points off the bench, and it was still not enough in a 124-121 loss. The Suns are playing with no fear, and I can’t see this depleted Sixers team stopping them.