Having started the season 4-0, and being the only team in the NBA without a loss, the 76ers now embark on their first West Coast road trip of the season.

The four-game road trip will be played against opponents who begin the year with a combined record of 13-7. To make things even more difficult, the Sixers will be without their star big man, Joel Embiid, for the first two games of the trip. Joel has been suspended two games for his part in Wednesday night’s “fight” with Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns.

Game 1: @ Portland Trail Blazers (3-2) – Saturday 11/2

It is a shame for Sixers’ fans that Embiid will be unavailable in Portland to take on Hassan Whiteside. Embiid has a history of making Whiteside look silly both on and off the court, and this is an area the Sixers’ truly could have exploited against Portland. The Trail Blazers have a slightly new look after last year’s playoff run, revamping their starting five. However, as has been the case for years now, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum steer the ship. Portland will present another early-season tough task defensively for the Sixers’ Josh Richardson and Matisse Thybulle.

Game 2: @ Phoenix Suns (3-2) – Monday 11/4

The Devin Booker-led Suns are quietly off to a nice start to the season. Phoenix has been competitive in all of their games to begin their year, with their only two losses both being decided by a single point. With Suns’ center DeAndre Ayton suspended, look for the team to take advantage of their speed and ball movement ability. Phoenix is currently second in the NBA in assists per game, averaging slightly below 29. The Sixers should also expect to see their fair share of Devin Booker once again, as the Suns’ guard is averaging 19 field goal attempts per game in roughly 35 minutes. With the Suns’ lack of ability to match the Sixers in size, look for a high-quality Ben Simmons performance.

Game 3: @ Utah Jazz (4-1) – Wednesday 11/6

The Utah Jazz presents the most difficult challenge on the road trip for the 76ers. The Jazz are off to a very nice start at 4-1 on the season, with off-season acquisition Mike Conley blending in quite well. Utah is coming off of a 110-96 thumping of the Kawhi-less Clippers. For Philadelphia, this will be Joel Embiid’s first game back from suspension. Embiid will be tested immediately, going up against last year’s NBA All-Defensive First Teamer Rudy Gobert. Wednesday, November 6th, the Sixers will see their first glimpse of a truly elite opponent with title aspirations similar to their own.

Game 4: @ Denver Nuggets (3-2) – Friday 11/8

Finally, the Sixers conclude the four-game road trip in Denver with a Friday night tilt against the Nuggets. Denver’s starting five displays a great deal of talent, however, they have appeared quite uninspired to start the year. The Nuggets are recently coming off of a road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, in which their coach, Mike Malone, publicly criticized their apparent lack of effort. Denver will continue to improve as the season progresses, and finish toward the top of the Western Conference. Philadelphia vs. Denver presents a battle of the league’s best big men, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.

While still early in the season, the Sixers’ upcoming road trip has the opportunity to provide a glimpse of just how high the Sixers’ potential is this season.

The West Coast provides a number of difficult opponents and matchup challenges. Philadelphia will get their first opportunity of the 2019-20 season to go against elite competition.

Featured Image: NBC Sports / Paul Hudrick
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