The Sixers are in the midst of a difficult run over the next three weeks that will see Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler and the rest of the team enjoy some serious national exposure on TNT, ABC and ESPN.
The stretch features some tough games against key Eastern Conference foes, includes a nationally televised match-up against the Golden State Warriors, and features two games against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The tough schedule continues this afternoon, when the Sixers will take on Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder to kick off the fourth season of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC. Calling that game will be Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown, analyst Mark Jackson, and reporter Israel Gutierrez.
When: Saturday, Jan. 19
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
Time: 3:30 p.m. tip-off
TV: ABC (Hubie Brown, Mark Jackson, Israel Gutierrez)
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic (Tom McGinnis)
Streaming: ABC app (requires cable authentication), SlingTV, FuboTV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV (all require a subscription)
NBA analyst Mark Jones, who will be calling the Sixers game this afternoon, told the Inquirer and Daily News that he’s most interested in seeing the continued evolution of Butler as part of the Sixers' offense.
“There’s two things going on here with Butler and the 76ers. It’s about getting him to be a seamless part of what they do at the offense end because defensively he makes them exponentially better – that’s not even a concern, regardless of what the numbers and analytics say at any given time,” Jones said.
Jones thinks the Sixers will be much better off in this difficult stretch of games with Embiid in the paint as opposed to shooting threes. He also offered some thoughts on Ben Simmons.
“As for Ben Simmons, that’s the wild card. As his perimeter shooting game expands, that raises the ceiling for the Sixers. But he hasn’t shown a consistent ability to want to stop defenses from going under screens,” Jones said. “But on the flip side, when defenders lay off him, he gets downhill in a hurry and is lethal. Brett Brown deserves more credit for the creative ways he’s used Simmons.”
Here is the Sixers’ upcoming schedule:
Saturday, Jan. 19
3:30 p.m. – Oklahoma City Thunder (ABC)
Monday, Jan. 21
8 p.m. – Houston Rockets (TNT)
Wednesday, Jan. 23
8 p.m. – San Antonio Spurs (ESPN)
Saturday, Jan. 26
9 p.m. – at Denver Nuggets (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
Tuesday, Jan. 29
10:30 p.m. – at Los Angeles Lakers (TNT)
Thursday, Jan. 31
10:30 p.m. – at Golden State Warriors (TNT)
Saturday, Feb. 2
10 p.m. – at Sacramento Kings (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
Tuesday, Feb. 5
8 p.m. – Toronto Raptors (TNT)
Friday, Feb. 8
7 p.m. – Denver Nuggets (ESPN)
Sunday, Feb. 10
3:30 p.m. – Los Angeles Lakers (ABC)
Tuesday, Feb. 12