The Philadelphia 76ers (10-8) will meet the Golden State Warriors (15-2), the hottest team in the NBA, this Wednesday evening on ESPN. This marks the end of a six-game road trip for the 76ers, who are 2-3 on it so far. The Warriors are 9-1 at home this season. But what about the NBA odds?
Golden State (12-4-1 ATS) is a 10-point favorite over Philadelphia (10-8 ATS) at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. The 76ers are 4-3 ATS as a road underdog, but this is the toughest opponent yet this season.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 – 10:00 PM EST at Chase Center
Can Short-Handed 76ers Keep It Close?
This would be a solid matchup if the 76ers were anywhere close to being a healthy team. The team was 8-2, Joel Embiid got COVID, and the 76ers have gone 2-6 ever since. Embiid could return for Philadelphia’s next home game, but he remains out for this one.
But the problems go beyond Philadelphia’s superstar being out, and they go beyond Ben Simmons’ estrangement from the team. Tobias Harris had a hip injury that kept him out of Monday’s win over Sacramento. He is questionable to play in this one, as are Danny Green and Seth Curry.
Green has missed the last four games. Curry would love to square off with his brother, but he also missed Monday’s game against Sacramento. The 76ers would be at a severe disadvantage in the shooting department without Harris, Green, and Curry.
So, how did this team beat the Kings without these players? For one, it was the Kings, a 6-12 team with a poor defense. Tyrese Maxey stepped up with a game-high 24 points. He is the only Philadelphia player to start every game this season as the team has used nine different starting lineups. It also helped that the Kings went ice cold in the fourth quarter and were outscored 25-12 for Philadelphia’s comeback win.
Philadelphia is the slowest-paced team in the league. While the defense, which ranks 24th in defensive rating, has not been good, it would be wise to not get into a shootout with the Warriors. The 76ers are 0-7 this season when they allow more than 105 points, but they are still No. 3 in offensive rating right behind the Warriors.
On the bright side, even without Embiid for half the season, Philadelphia has only lost by double digits twice. Unfortunately, one of those games was a 35-point blowout in Utah a week ago. The Warriors are better than Utah on both sides of the court.
The Historic Warriors
Golden State has gotten off to one of the best starts in NBA history this season. Through 17 games, no one has stopped the Warriors from scoring more than 100 points, and no one has scored 115 points on the Warriors.
No team has ever started a season with a streak that long, and it is the fourth-longest streak ever in NBA regular-season history. The record still belongs to the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks at 22 games. That team finished 66-16 and won the championship.
What more can you say about a team that leads the NBA in net rating, defensive rating, eFG%, assist rate, and has Steph Curry playing at a ridiculous level even for him? Curry recently had a six-game stretch where he averaged 36 points and made 7.0 threes per game, including four games with nine threes.
However, Curry and Draymond Green missed the Detroit game last Friday and the Warriors had to hang on for a 105-102 win. Curry returned against Toronto on Sunday and scored a season-low 12 points with his worst shooting game of the season: 2-of-10 from the field, 1-of-6 from three. Maybe he’s cooled off.
But the Warriors still won by 15 points thanks to Jordan Poole (33 points) and Andrew Wiggins (32 points) stepping up and the defense holding Toronto under 40% shooting. Green also returned and had 14 rebounds to go with eight assists.
This is the team to beat right now, and unlike Philadelphia, the Warriors have been healthy. That Detroit game was the only time this season any of the five starters were absent.
In 10 home games this season, the Warriors have eight wins by at least 13 points, a 115-113 win over the Clippers, and a sloppy 104-101 loss to Memphis in overtime.
As much as I’d like to root for the underdog to make this one close for your NBA picks, I think the Warriors cruise to another double-digit win. Maybe the 76ers will look like a more complete team when the rematch in Philadelphia happens on December 11.
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