Top Seed Locked Up, Flyers ‘Ready to Go Dancing’

Things to watch: Sixers versus Trail Blazers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers will kick off the second half of their seeding games Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers. This game will arguably be the Sixers' biggest challenge yet. Here are some things to watch ahead of the matchup. 

Who wins the size battle 

A common theme against the Sixers' first four opponents was they typically ran small lineups, that will not be the case in this game. The Blazers run a big frontcourt with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins that will have the size to match the Sixers. 

Joel Embiid has had his way with just about every player an opponent has thrown at him so far in Orlando. He is going to have his hands full down low in this one with multiple bigs being thrown at him. It will be interesting to see if Embiid can sustain his dominance and if he and Horford can win the battle of the bigs down low. 

Containing Lillard and McCollum

If the Sixers want to walk away with the win in this game, this needs to be the main point of emphasis. Portland's backcourt is one of the top-scoring duos in the league and will bury you if you give them the chance. Containing them is one of the biggest keys to victory. 

Shake Milton and Josh Richardson are going to have their hands full chasing these two around. They have the length to contest their shots, the focus should be to defend with energy and make them earn every basket. 

Shake Milton the facilitator 

One of the main things the Sixers are losing in Ben Simmons is his ability to run the offense. Simmons was one of the league leaders in assists per game this season and is a big hole the Sixers need to fill in his absence. Through one game, Shake Milton seems to be up for the challenge. 

After a rough start in the first seeding game, Milton has locked in. Milton has not only been taking care of the basketball but he is only showing he can be a facilitator when called upon. In the team's last three games he has picked up 15 assists to just two turnovers, including eight assists in the team's last game against the Magic.

With more opportunity for Milton on offense, he is going to be called up more to be the primary ball-handler. Hopefully, Milton can continue to grow as a facilitator and show he can run the offense. 



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)