The Wells Fargo Center is suddenly a tough place to play for opposing NBA teams.
The 76ers will look to win their 10th straight home game Monday night against the New York Knicks.
“We know playing in front of our fans always gives us an advantage because they are always so loud and passionate about it,” Joel Embiid said. “So I love playing in front of them.”
The Sixers’ last three home victories came during their current five-game home stretch. After facing the Knicks, they will entertain the Miami Heat on Wednesday before heading into the all-star break. The Sixers defeated the Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, and Los Angeles Clippers by an average of 15 points in the first three games of their homestand.
On paper, the Sixers (28-25) shouldn’t have a tough time against New York.
The Knicks (23-34) lost their sixth straight game Sunday in a 121-113 road setback to the Indiana Pacers. New York has been at a huge disadvantage since all-star power forward Kristaps Porzingas suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee on Tuesday.
Emmanuel Mudiay, whom the Knicks acquired in a trade from the Denver Nuggets, made his debut against the Pacers on Sunday. He finished with 14 points and 10 assists off the bench.
The Sixers have to “just play the way we’ve been playing, moving the ball,” Embiid said of facing the Knicks. They’ll focus on getting defensive stops and holding the rebounding edge.
The Sixers might also introduce a new teammate on Monday.
Marco Belinelli committed to sign a free-agent deal with the Sixers for the remainder of the season. Unable to trade the guard, the Atlanta Hawks reached a buyout agreement on Belinelli’s expiring $6.3 million deal on Friday. The 31-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent on Monday after clearing waivers. That’s when he intends to sign with the Sixers.