Monday Picks: Sixers Selection Dependent on Joel Embiid Playing

Troy Haliburton

Monday, November 20, 2017 5:32 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 5:32 PM UTC

Let's start the holiday week out with a bang with four confident NBA picks in a busy night on the hardwood. One selection, though, depends on Sixers star Joel Embiid playing. 

Jazz at Sixers

The Jazz started out the year promising, then had lost seven of their last eight games but made NBA history when they were the first ever road team to win by 40+ points against a home team above .500. The Jazz defeated the Orlando Magic 125-86, and at this point are trying to do anything possible to stop the season from going completely under. The Jazz sorely miss Rudy Gobert because they are nowhere near the defensive team with Derrick Favors replacing him in the starting lineup. Over the last eight games the Jazz are allowing 109.8 points per game on 48% shooting.

The Sixers, on the other hand, almost pulled off one of the major upsets of the young NBA season when they blew a 23-point lead to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. The Sixers learned that as a young team you can’t coast with a lead, and that will be invaluable experience for them going forward. Look for the Sixers to take some of those lessons learned and apply them to the game against the Jazz, but only if Joel Embiid plays. Sixers beat reporter Keith Pompey is now reporting that Embiid is questionable.

Free NBA Pick: Sixers -6Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Wizards at Bucks

Washington will be playing its first back-to-back of the season after losing last night in Toronto, albeit without John Wall. The Wizards were completely disheveled without Wall in the lineup, in large part due to their lack of a competent backup point guard. Tim Frazier is a solid NBA player, but is more suited to be a third point guard in the case of emergency and not relied on heavily to play 15 minutes a game over the course of an 82-game season.

Bradley Beal was the answer without Wall, and he scored 27 points, but did not score in the fourth quarter at all, as Toronto double teamed him down the stretch. Beal should not have to do it by himself as all indications are that Wall will be back in the lineup after sitting out with a sore knee, and the team was presumably being cautious because of the the back-to-back.

The Bucks finally lost with Eric Bledsoe in the lineup, dropping their first since the trade on Saturday night vs. Dallas.  The Bucks struggled to knock down outside shots, as they have during the entirety of the season. Milwaukee struggles mightily when teams decide to pack the paint and not let the Greek Freak get to the rim at will. Expect the Wizards to throw a multitude of looks at Giannis, including Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre and even some Markieff Morris.

Free NBA Pick: Wizards +5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Clippers at Knicks

The Knicks are at the point of the season where they finally realize just how heavily reliant they are on Kristaps Porzingis to play well for them to have any success at all. Porzingis only scored 13 points on 3-13 shooting last time out, and because he had an off night the Knicks had no chance of beating the Raptors.

The Clippers may find themselves in an even worse situation as they have lost eight consecutive games, and a lot of that has to do with injuries. Los Angeles has been without Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley, which has forced a lot of Clippers players to be playing out of position without a true point guard on the floor. The Clippers are expecting Beverley to return to action after missing five games with a sore knee. If he can return, it will bring balance to the Clippers team, which already has capable options of slowing down Porzingis in DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.

Free NBA Pick: Clippers -1Best Line Offered: Betmania

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Thunder at Pelicans

The Thunder are finally figuring out how to play together as a newly formed team, and that means establishing a hierarchy on whom gets the basketball. Paul George has distinguished himself as the best player in Oklahoma City, and it would behoove the Thunder to start playing like that. OKC will play at its best when George is the focal point of the offense and Carmelo Anthony is relegated to role player.

New Orleans is going through a realization of their own, and that is DeMarcus Cousins may be the most talented player on the Pelicans roster, and that as long as they keep feeding him the basketball it will put them in the best possible position to win. Anthony Davis has been injured the last two games after suffering his third concussion of his young career, but all indications are that he will be ready to make his return to the lineup against the Thunder.

In Davis’ absence, the Pelicans allowed 135 points per game in the two contests and suffered two embarrassing losses in the process. Look for OKC to take advantage of summer of the Pelicans weaknesses on the defensive end, by imploring George and Melo to attack an inferior group of Pelicans wings. Combine that with the fact that Steven Adams is a more than capable bruiser who can keep Cousins in check.

Free NBA Pick: Thunder -2.5Best Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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