Ben Simmons is back in Philadelphia, and though he won’t play in the Nets’ first game against the 76ers since last month’s blockbuster trade, he’ll be the center of attention on the bench at Wells Fargo Center.
The All-Star last logged game minutes in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, and has been fined for every game he missed while under contract in Philly for a total around $19 million. There’s also news that he intends to file a grievance with the Sixers soon after the game.
James Harden will play against the Nets, though
Harden is expected to be received with animosity by former Brooklyn teammates. Nets head coach Steve Nash has already said he doesn’t expect to catch up with him.
This is gonna feel like a playoff game for very NBA drama reasons (!!)
Harden has been on a tear since joining Philly
The Sixers are 5-0 when Harden plays because The Beard’s ballin’ at an MVP-level. Funny how that works. He’s averaging 24.6 points on 53 percent shooting from the field with 12.4 assists and 7.6 rebounds.
• 27 PTS on 7/12 FGs, 12 AST, 8 REB vs. Timberwolves
• 29 PTS on 8/14 FGs, 16 AST, 10 REB vs. Knicks
• 26 PTS on 8/13 FGs, 9 AST, 9 REB vs. Knicks
• 25 PTS on 6/10 FGs, 11 AST, 3 REB vs. Cavaliers
• 16 PTS on 5/15 FGs, 14 AST, 8 REB vs. Bulls
Now, let’s look at some bets that are available.
Harden's O/U is set at 24.5 points
If Harden scores 25 or more points, as he’s done in four of his first five games as a Sixer, he’ll hit the over. Based on his recent streak, that looks more than possible.
The Sixers are favored to beat the Nets
The Sixers are favored at -4.5, meaning they’ll cover the spread if Philly outscores Brooklyn by five or more points. The Nets would cover the spread if they win outright or lose by four or fewer points.
Would you like some March Madness to go along with your March Madness? Enter Sixers vs. Nets in Philly. Consider siding with Harden to go off against the team he wanted nothing to do with a few weeks ago. Revenge is coming