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This should be a terrific rematch of a game played on Feb. 13, where Devin Booker and the Suns held serve at home behind his 36 points on 14-for-23 shooting, holding off a 35-point outburst from 76ers star center Joel Embiid in a 120-111 win.

These are two divisional leaders, adding to the intrigue. Philadelphia holds a slight edge on Brooklyn in the Atlantic, leading the entire Eastern Conference as a whole. Phoenix ranks second in the West, surprisingly having surpassed both the Clippers and injury-ravaged Lakers over the past few months.

Suns at 76ers picks and predictions will require one key detail that won’t be known until Wednesday morning shootaround. Technically, it’s two key details – the injury status of both Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, who were each sidelined for Monday’s loss to Golden State in which Stephen Curry put on his latest 3-point shooting show. Embiid may have one or both of his key guys back to help in this matchup of NBA giants.

  • Philadelphia 76ers vs. Phoenix Suns
  • Time/Venue: 7:10 p.m. ET, Wells Fargo Center
  • TV: NBA TV

Embiid Looks to Rescue MVP Campaign

The fact Curry came into Philly and dropped 49 points on Embiid’s 76ers, may have ended his run with roughly 15 games remaining. Although he put up 28 points, 13 boards and eight rebounds, he failed to do his part to save his team down the stretch as Curry was wrapping up his latest virtuoso performance.

Roughly 90 minutes later, MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic was leading Denver to a remarkable comeback double-overtime win in which he finished with 47 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. April 19 may have been “game over” for Embiid’s MVP pursuit. NBA MVP odds at FanDuel moved from +10000 to +1800 on Curry, with Embiid running second at +350 and Jokic now a heavy favorite at -350.

Although Embiid missed time at a few points this season, including missing 10 games from March 12 to April 3, he’s been dominant in leading the 76ers to the top mark in the Eastern Conference. There’s still a chance he can pull it out, but it would take Jokic slowing down or missing games and Philly closing with a flourish to finish as the top seed in the East.

The 76ers are closing out a four-game homestand that would look a lot better if it culminates with a victory against the Suns than if it winds up 2-2, so this game is crucial considering the 76ers took care of business of quality teams like the Nets and Clippers.

A pair of road games await against the Bucks, so it’s going to be interesting to see whether Simmons will be back from what was termed a stomach flu that has kept from playing against Golden State or whether he’ll require a few more days. The same goes for Harris, who has missed time with a knee injury that head coach Doc Rivers termed as “not serious.”

Suns Looking To Chase Down Jazz on Current Trip

Phoenix is in the midst of a dream season, having ascended within 1.5 games of catching Utah for the West’s top spot by winning 12 of the last 14. They opened a five-game East Coast trip stacked exclusively with winning teams by pulling out a 128-127 overtime win in Milwaukee against the Bucks.

Booker scored a late basket to send the game into overtime and then hit a game-winning free-throw with 0.3 remaining after a controversial foul call. It also helped that Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo cramped up and was forced to miss the end of the extra session. Regardless of that development, Phoenix still played a great game in winning outright as a three-point underdog, getting this trip off to a fantastic start

Paul passed Magic Johnson for fifth on the NBA’s all-time assists list and has had a terrific first season in helping Booker lead the Suns to new heights. Young recent lottery picks Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges have really grown over the past few months. Another key free-agent acquisition who just played in an NBA Finals, has also emerged.

Suns at 76ers picks and predictions will also hinge on how much that first contest will come into play in this one since the Phoenix bench played extremely well, shooting a combined 19-for-29 (65.6 percent). The Suns shot over 60 percent from the field in scoring 120 points on a lineup that included both Embiid, Simmons, Harris and top defenders Danny Green and Matisse Thybulle.

Although the 76ers are home for this one, the Suns have an 18-7 record on the road this season, currently the best in the NBA. Phoenix has won 11 of its last 13 games on the highway and will immediately head out for Boston to play the Celtics on Thursday night.

Sports Betting Line Analysis

Early lines have not been released for this game, presumably due to the potential absence of Simmons and Harris. Phoenix won the first matchup as a 1.5-point favorite, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this line close as a pick’em if Simmons and Harris can’t go. If they play, expect the 76ers to be favored. The total should be in the neighborhood of 220, which is where it was placed in that first matchup.

Injuries/Rotational Adjustments to Watch

The Suns are nearly completely healthy, missing only forward Abdel Nader, who is dealing with knee soreness.

If Simmons and Harris are in the mix, they’ll obviously return to the starting lineup alongside Embiid, Green, and Seth Curry. If both are sidelined, look for Furkan Korkmaz and Mike Scott to start but Thybulle, Shake Milton, Tyrese Maxey, and the newly acquired George Hill to play more minutes. Hill made his debut with the 76ers on Monday.

Suns At 76ers Handicapping Notes And Pick

My expectation is that we’ll see Simmons out there in an extremely important game. Whether he plays or not, we should see a defensive vibe in this game between two of the most proficient defensive teams in the league play a game with playoff-level intensity on that side of the floor. It would obviously help if Simmons is out there since he’s a front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year, but the low side should prevail.


About the Author
Tony Mejia

Tony Mejia

Tony Mejia has been a national writer for nearly two decades and has covered NBA and college basketball as a columnist, analyst, handicapper, and bracketologist for CBS Sports, Pro Basketball News, and numerous other sites.

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