Denver Nuggets vs Philadelphia 76ers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: Tuesday, 10 December 2019, 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT, Altitude | 97.5 The Fanatic, KKSE 92.5FM/950AM

Denver Nuggets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Malone {All-Time 226-229 | SAC, DEN}

Season Record: 14-7

Projected Starting Five: (G) Jamal Murray – (G) Gary Harris – (F) Will Barton – (F) Paul Millsap – (C) Nikola Jokic

Top Performers

  • (G) Jamal Murray – 32.8 MPG | 18.2 PPG | 4.8 APG | 1.5 SPG
  • (C) Nikola Jokic – 31.0 MPG | 16.1 PPG | 10.1 RPG | 6.1 APG
  • (F) Will Barton – 32.2 MPG | 14.2 PPG | 6.5 RPG | .414 3P%

The Denver Nuggets haven’t looked very good in their Eastern Conference road trip. While they were able to take down the New York Knicks in their first match, they’ve struggled against Atlantic Division playoff hopefuls the Celtics and the Nets.

Denver hasn’t had a three-game losing streak all season. They will have to pick up their game if they want to take down the surging Philadelphia 76ers. Both Jokic and Embiid are having slow starts to the season, but this December matchup could wake them both up.

The Nuggets simply can’t be thinking of home in this match and must close out their road trip with a win to stay competitive in the Western Conference table. A loss wouldn’t knock them down, but it certainly puts the top four further out of reach.

Philadelphia 76ers (Home)

Head Coach: Brett Brown {All-Time 195-321 | PHI}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Ben Simmons – (G) Furkan Korkmaz – (F) Tobias Harris – (F) Al Horford – (C) Joel Embiid

Season Record: 17-7

Top Performers

  • (C) Joel Embiid – 30.4 MPG | 21.9 PPG | 12.5 RPG | 1.4 BPG
  • (F) Tobias Harris – 34.2 MPG | 19.2 PPG | 7.0 RPG | 3.1 APG
  • (G) Josh Richardson – 32.0 MPG | 16.1 PPG | 3.6 APG | 1.1 SPG

The Philadelphia 76ers are on an excellent run of form. They are 5-2 in their last seven matches, including their most recent victory – a revenge win against the Toronto Raptors.

While Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid weren’t tremendous in that match, the Philadelphia supporting cast stepped up in their most recent game to level the season series with the Raptors. With the win, they find them in the top four of the Eastern Conference.

The Sixers face off with a quality Denver Nuggets team that can defend and score just as well as they can. Whether or not the Philadelphia offense can breakdown an incredible Denver defense is what will determine the outcome of this match.

What’s at Stake?

The Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets own a rather one-sided rivalry. In 89 regular-season meetings, the Sixers lead the Nuggets 50-39.

A win for the Denver Nuggets would tie them with the Houston Rockets for fourth in the Western Conference.

A win for the Philadelphia 76ers would place them third in the Eastern Conference.

Questions to Answer

Can the Nuggets’ lethargic offense find some inspiration?

Can the Sixers build off of a fantastic revenge win over the Raptors?

We are going to compare the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

What Is Eating the Denver Nuggets?

This Nuggets team came into the season with some high expectations. However, in recent games they’ve failed to live up to those expectations. While the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets aren’t pushovers, the Nuggets are expected to take at least one of those matches.

Over the last two games, the Nuggets are averaging only 98.5 points compared to their opponents 106.5. While their field-goal percentage is passable, they’ve been awful from three, shooting 31.9%.

Denver is moving the ball, averaging 21.5 assists to their 37.5 field-goals. However, the pace is too slow. With Nikola Jokic at the forefront of their offense, they certainly won’t be a transition team, but Denver needs to manufacture easy baskets to take down the defensive adept Sixers.

Philly’s Unsung Heroes Drive Their Success

The Philadelphia Sixers are built around young pieces Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. In their win over the Toronto Raptors though, it was two more unheralded that sealed the game for them.

Tobias Harris looked unstoppable, even with a fantastic defender in OG Anunoby guarding him. Harris posted 26 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one block on the night. On the defensive end of the ball, Al Horford set the tone. While he only contributed 11 points, he added four rebounds, five assists, one steal, and two blocks.

Both can have a massive impact on the game and don’t have the technical shortcomings of Ben Simmons. While we all look to Joel Embiid to define the game, the Sixers have proven role players that can swing a match in their favor.

Denver’s Bench Is Working Hard

It is difficult to win games when you are struggling to defend the rim. The Nuggets’ starting lineup is failing to dissuade their opponents from attacking the paint, where they’ve become successful.

Positionally Jokic and Millsap are excellent. But they lack the needed athleticism to compete with the speed of the match at times. Reserves Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee have done excellently to make up for them, posting a 107 and 103 defensive rating in their loss to the Nets.

All of the Nuggets scoring options are in the starting lineup, while their bench is almost purely defensive in ability. The balance that is missing is causing issues – Mike Malone will have to manage his side wisely to take down the Sixers.

The Sixers Must Overcome Their Immaturity

The Philadelphia 76ers are coming off of an impressive win over their rivals the Toronto Raptors. Despite leading for the majority of the match, some nagging issues for the Sixers reared their head at the end of the match.

Up by 19 points entering the fourth quarter, the Sixers were outscored by 12 in the final frame which made the boxscore much less flattering. Philadelphia committed 11 turnovers in the fourth quarter, due to the intense full-court pressure that the Sixers were unable to deal with.

There were issues all over the court that almost caused a Sixers collapse.

  • The Toronto Raptors are undoubtedly a fantastic defensive team.
  • Philadelphia was unable to find their ball handlers while under pressure.
  • Brett Brown fielded an incapable lineup to deal with the pressure.

It just shows that the greatest enemy of this Philadelphia 76ers team is themselves. They’ve shown themselves to be capable of brilliant play, but unforced errors and poor decision making plagues their losses.

Denver Nuggets Roster Notes

The Denver Nuggets have no roster changes of note.

Philadelphia 76ers Roster Notes

(G) Josh Richardson – 8 Dec 2019 – Out (Hamstring) – Richardson is listed as out for Sunday’s (Dec. 8) game against the Raptors.

(G) Zhaire Smith – 8 Dec 2019 – Out (Lower Leg) – Smith is listed as out for Sunday’s (Dec. 8) game against the Raptors.

Head-to-Head: (G) Gary Harris vs (G) Matisse Thybulle

Take a look at the backcourt for tonight’s most interesting matchup.

Gary Harris was a fringe All-Star player not long ago, but his form has dropped off considerably as of late. On the other side, Matisse Thybulle is an impressive rookie who is taking advantage of his opportunities in light of injury issues for the Sixers.

(G) Gary Harris (6-4, 205lb (193cm, 92kg) | Michigan State | 5 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 25 DEN 21 31.8 10.6 3.1 1.9 .414 .368

Gary Harris has been struggling as of late and it is no wonder that it coincides with the Nuggets’ own struggles. The Denver Nuggets are 1-2 in their last three and if they hope to get back on the right track they need Harris to step up.

Over his last three Harris has been below average. He is averaging 8.0 points and 2.7 rebounds on 40.9% from the field. While his efficiency isn’t bad, he has failed to get up enough shots, attempting only 7.3 field-goals per game. Harris is a talented scorer, for the Nuggets to succeed he will have to indulge himself more.

(G) Matisse Thybulle (6-5, 200lb (196cm, 90kg) | Washington | Rookie)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB STL FG% 3P%
19-20 22 PHI 23 16.7 4.7 1.0 1.5 .429 .440

Thybulle is looking every bit the rookie prospect the Philadelphia 76ers were expecting him to be. While he has his ups and downs on the offensive end, he is an energetic defender who is already winning assignments against the oppositions best player.

The rookie is likely to have some real confidence up against the Nuggets, as he is coming off of a career-high 20 points in a win against the Toronto Raptors. Thybulle is unlikely to be the star, but his 6-9 shooting against the Raptors can surely be carried over.

Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers Predictions

Why the Denver Nuggets Will Win

The Denver Nuggets’ defense is manned by Nikola Jokic, one of the few centers with the profile to slow Joel Embiid. With interchangeable wing defenders, the Nuggets can take this game with so long as their offense keeps up.

Why the Philadelphia 76ers Will Win

The Philadelphia 76ers have been rolling offensively. An engaged Ben Simmons hasn’t shown signs of limitation in recent games, showing that their attitude is as important as their quality. If the Sixers come out with the same effort they had against Toronto, it’ll be a win for them.

WSN’s Pick

The Philadelphia 76ers are in good form at the moment. While Jokic is an excellent defender, Embiid will certainly want to build on what was another poor game against Marc Gasol. The Sixers can take this game with another focused offensive effort.

WSN Picks: Philadelphia 76ers will defeat the Denver Nuggets.

Denver Nuggets vs Philadelphia 76ers Odds

The odds for the Nuggets vs 76ers game are provided by bet365 NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Unibet NJ.

Good luck!

Money Line

Sportsbook Nuggets 76ers
bet365 NJ +155 -175
DraftKings +150 -180
Unibet NJ +150 -180

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