NBA

New-look Philadelphia 76ers host struggling Denver Nuggets

Friday, February 8 at 7:00 PM ET
 
Wells Fargo Center
 
Coverage: ESPN
 
The Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers try to get back to their winning ways when they clash on Friday night. The Nuggets and 76ers have lost two straight games, so this is a must-win contest for both.
 
 
 
Nuggets look to end two-game losing streak
The Nuggets are coming off back-to-back road losses against the Pistons and Nets. D'Angelo Russell finished with 27 points and 11 assists, making six of Brooklyn's 19 3-pointers. 
 
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 25 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 10th triple-double of the season, Mason Plumlee scored a season-high 24 points on 10 of 12 shooting against his former team and Jamal Murray added 19 points and 11 assists after missing six games with a sprained left ankle. 
 
Denver outrebounded Brooklyn 48-40 and outscored them in the paint, 66-50 but they were just 13-for-35 (37.1 percent) from beyond the arc.  
 
 
 
Tobias Harris gives 76ers a formidable starting five
After an impressive 113-104 road win against the Warriors, the 76ers lost to the Kings and Raptors. Joel Embiid finished with 37 points and 13 rebounds for his league-leading 44th double-double, Ben Simmons scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler added 18 but the Raptors outrebounded the 76ers 42-34, forced them to turn the ball over 18 times and limited them to just 7-for-24 (29.2 percent) from 3-point range.
 
The 76ers traded rookie Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, their 2020 first-round pick, the Heat's 2021 first-round pick and their 2021 and 2023 second-round picks to the Clippers for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and stretch forward Mike Scott.
 
Adding Harris gives the 76ers one of the best starting lineups in the NBA. Even before the trade, the 76ers were the only NBA team with four players averaging at least 17.0 points per game this season and with Harris, they have a fifth.
 
Ben Simmons 17.0 points per game
 
JJ Redick 18.3 points per game
 
Jimmy Butler 19.5 points per game
 
Tobias Harris 20.9 points per game
 
Joel Embiid 27.4 points per game
 
Last Thursday the 76ers also added Rockets forward James Ennis for swap rights to a 2021 second-round pick and sent Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic for Jonathon Simmons, the Thunder's 2020 first-round pick and the Cavaliers' 2019 second-round pick. Ennis and Simmons will help add depth to their bench, which can make a difference in the playoffs.
 
 
NBA Trends: 
 
The Denver Nuggets are:
 
8-3 ATS in their last 11 Friday games
 
5-2 ATS in their last seven games against Eastern Conference opponents
 
7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
 
The Philadelphia 76ers are:
 
6-13 ATS in their last 19 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
 
4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following a double-digit loss at home
 
2-5 ATS in their last seven games playing on two days rest
 
Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott, James Ennis and Jonathon Simmons could make their debuts with the 76ers but it's hard to know what to expect from them in terms of playing time and how their teammates will gel together with them.
 
The Nuggets obviously have better team chemistry and they will play with a sense of urgency as they can't afford to lose their third straight game, so I like them to keep this one close. Also, the road team is 19-6-1 ATS in the last 26 meetings.
 
NBA Pick: Nuggets +4 (-110) at Jazz Sports 
 

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