NBA Picks 3/17 – Philadelphia 76ers @ Charlotte Hornets
by Thomas Quaynor – NBA analyst for Wannamakeabet.com
The Philadelphia 76ers (46-22) go on the road to face the Charlotte Hornets (22-49), the 76ers are a 10-point favorite and the total is 227. Tonight, is the third and final meeting between these teams, they split the first two with both teams winning at home, Charlotte won 107-101 on November 23rd, and Philadelphia won 131-113 on December 11th. 76ers superstar center Joel Embiid scored 53 points in the 76ers win.
The 76ers come into this game on a 6-game win streak, they’ve also won 7 straight road games. The Charlotte Hornets season has been a disaster on the court this season, but they have made some headlines off the court in the last 24 hours as its being reported that owner Michael Jordan is considering selling his majority stake in the franchise.
THE SKINNY ON BOTH TEAMS
When the Philadelphia 76ers traded for 10-time All-Star James Harden on February 10, 2022, they were hoping he’d be able to assist Joel Embiid in bringing a championship back to Philadelphia. Things did not necessarily work out after Year 1, as the 76ers finished fourth in the East last season and were eliminated by the top seed Miami Heat in 6 games in the second round of the playoffs.
James Harden struggled in the Miami series. This season has provided more optimism for a 76ers championship as their 46-22 record puts them in third place in the Eastern Conference, which is one game behind Boston for second place and three games behind Milwaukee for first. Securing the top seed in the East is a reachable goal for the 76ers if they can continue to play at this level.
Joel Embiid leads the NBA in scoring at 33.5ppg, he’s also putting up 10.2rebs, 4.1asts, 1.7blks, 1.1stls and is battling Denver’s Nikola Jokic for the NBA’s MVP this season. James Harden continues to put up great numbers in his 14th season with averages of 21.9 points, 10.8 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in his 14th season.
The Charlotte Hornets looked to be a young team on the rise after finishing 43-39 last season and just missing out on making the playoffs, but things took a turn for the worse in the offseason. In July, leading scorer Miles Bridges (20.2pts, 7rebs) was arrested for domestic violence and will miss this entire season, and season-long injuries limited third year star LaMelo Ball (23.4pts, 8.4asts, 6.4rebs, 1.3stls) to just 36 games. Kelly Oubre Jr. (20.6ppg, 5.4rebs) and Gordon Hayward (14.4ppg, 4.3rebs, 4.0asts) have each missed 26 games due to injuries. The Hornets could be much improved next year, if the entire squad is healthy and they get a high pick in the NBA draft.
I’m riding with the hot team here, Lay the 10 and take the 76ers!!
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