The Philadelphia 76ers hold the best record in the Eastern Conference off the back of an MVP caliber season by Joel Embiid and an impressive season by his supporting cast.
With Embiid expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks, however, the Sixers are in jeopardy of losing their top position as they prepare for a six-game road trip from March 21st to April 1st without their All-Star center.
Sunday, 3/21 @ New York Knicks
The first game of the away stretch is just a trip down I-95 to the Big Apple, when the Sixers take on the Tom Thibadeau-coached New York Knicks, who have developed into playoff contenders behind a breakout season by Julius Randle.
The Embiid-less Sixers are a relatively good matchup against the Knicks however and should earn the victory if they match defensive energy and get above-average performances from their shooters.
Tuesday, 3/23 @ Golden State Warriors
Things start to ramp up with a series against Steph Curry and his youthful surrounding cast. The 76ers will likely look to shut down the former MVP by sticking DPOY candidate Ben Simmons on him and trust their talent against a young Warriors team just one spot out of a playoff position.
The match-up will be nationally televised on TNT and gives the Sixers a chance to make a statement win.
Thursday, 3/25 @ Los Angeles Lakers
A TNT national broadcasted matchup against the defending champs is never one knocked as easy, especially when the best basketball player on the planet is on their team. The Sixers will need their backup big men (and/or possible big man acquisitions) to try and restrict Anthony Davis.
The Sixers will have to rely on their defense if they want to keep this game close and will need strong outings from their bench if they want to get the win,
Saturday, 3/27 @ Los Angeles Clippers
The Sixers will sorely miss Embiid in this one, as the duo of Simmons and Tobias Harris is nowhere near Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and the Sixers will likely trail because of it.
Doc Rivers will likely opt to defend Leonard and George with Simmons and Matisse Thybulle but will need a strong defensive performance from the team as a whole to get the win.
Tuesday, 3/30 @ Denver Nuggets
This would have been an exciting matchup between two seven-foot MVP candidates if Embiid were healthy, but without him, the Sixers will have to find other ways of stopping Nikola Jokic. While Howard offers a big body to defend him, Jokic’s passing abilities would flourish against the veteran.
Ben Simmons could offer a solution to this problem but is much too small to stop Jokic anywhere near the paint, so Rivers will have to think up a way to prevent Jokic from putting the game away.
Thursday, 4/1 @ Cleveland Cavaliers
The last game of the road trip takes place in Cleveland as the Sixers play the Cavaliers.
With Andre Drummond out on grounds of a trade demand, the Cavaliers don’t have anyone to exploit the hole left by Embiid, and the Sixers should cruise to a relatively easy win based on team talent and construction.
This road trip to close out March will consist of multiple defining games for the Sixers, as they try to maintain their lead in the Eastern Conference as Joel Embiid is expected to miss multiple weeks with a leg injury.
Featured Image: ---