The Houston Rockets suffered their first loss of the season in a 98-90 reverse to Memphis on Monday. It was an abject performance for them shooting wise, converting 41% from the field and slightly under 24% from three-point range. While this game was an aberration for them scoring wise, a result on Wednesday will put them back on track. The absence of Chris Paul has been frustrating for the Rockets, and now both Trevor Ariza and Nene are listed as day-to-day.
The 76ers got their first win of the season at Detroit on Monday night, getting great performances out of Joel Embiid, who scored 30 points off 73.3% shooting, and Ben Simmons, who recorded the first triple-double of his career in just his fourth NBA game. Markelle Fultz’s struggles continued despite the win, however, and it was later revealed that a shoulder injury is partly to blame for the top draft pick’s modest start to his NBA career.
Keys to the Game
Shooting – If the Houston Rockets shoot like they’re capable of, as we saw against the Warriors in the fourth quarter last week, the Sixers will be incapable of keeping up.
Bench production- Both benches only scored 20 points in their last matches. Whichever second unit steps up more here will go a long way to deciding the outcome.
Hustle stats – The Rockets only managed five steals and two blocks last time out. They need to be more aggressive in this one and try to force more turnovers.
Matchup to Watch
James Harden vs Ben Simmons – These two have impressed early, and will need to carry the load again. This looks to be an exciting matchup.
Houston Rockets Projected Lineup
PG – James Harden | SG – Eric Gordon | SF – Luc Mbah a Moute | PF – Ryan Anderson | C – Clint Capela
Philadelphia 76ers Projected Lineup
PG – Ben Simmons | SG – Jerryd Bayless | SF – JJ Redick | PF – Robert Covington | C – Joel Embiid
Eric Gordon is yet to disappoint this season and is again a safe Fantasy play here.
The over/under is set to 224, but with so many missing pieces for Houston, going under isn’t a bad bet.
With so many missing for the Rockets, someone has to step up and have a big game. If that doesn’t happen, then the Sixers will take this one in a close encounter.
You can stream this game or catch it on local NBCSP and ATTSN-SW channels. Coverage starts at 8pm ET.
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