PHILADELPHIA AT DENVER, 7 p.m. Saturday, ALT, 950 AM
Spotlight on Ben Simmons: After missing his entire rookie season last year with an injury, the former No. 1 overall pick out of LSU has quickly become one of the NBA’s most versatile point guards. The 6-foot-10 Simmons is averaging 16.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game and plays better on the offensive end while on the road (17.1 point per game). If there’s one area he struggles in, it’s at the free-throw line, where he’s shooting only 53.8 percent. He’s averaging 4.2 turnovers per game in December, but his 1.91 steals-per-game average ranks fifth in the league.
76ers: This season started with high expectations, but a rough December has led to them taking a significant step back in the Eastern Conference’s playoff race. The Sixers are 3-10 this month, dropping their record to 15-19 and placing them two spots (three game) behind Miami for the final playoff spot. … The offseason acquisition of J.J. Reddick from the Clippers has paid off. The 33-year-old guard is averaging a career-best in points (16.9), rebounds (2.7) and free-throw percentage (95.3). … Philadelphia leads the NBA with 48 rebounds per game but ranks last in turnover percentage, giving the ball away 18.1 times per 100 possessions.
Nuggets: After a quick one-game road trip to Minneapolis, the Nuggets return to where they’re most comfortable: the Pepsi Center. Denver (19-16) is 12-3 at home this season and only 7-13 on the road. If the season were to end today, Denver would have the No. 6 playoff spot, a game ahead of Portland and New Orleans and one behind surging Oklahoma City. … Second-year point guard Jamal Murray is continuing to establish himself as a leader at the position, averaging 15.3 points per game (18.8 in his last five outings), including a 30-point performance last Wednesday and cracking 20 points the past two games. … While filling in for the injured Paul Millsap (wrist), forward Trey Lyles has remained hot. In Wednesday’s loss at Minnesota, he posted his fourth career double-double (23 points, 10 rebounds). He’s averaging 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in his last seven games.
Published at Fri, 29 Dec 2017 18:50:16 +0000