The Philadelphia 76ers have had to make do with the players on their roster as two key guards will miss serious time. They will travel to face the Houston Rockets, whose season is going in the direction most thought it would in Year Three of the team’s rebuild.
The 76ers (12-11) lost their second game in a row to the Memphis Grizzlies 117-109 as the bench did not offer much support to another solid Joel Embiid performance. The Rockets (6-17) lost to the Golden State Warriors 120-101, but they had beaten the Phoenix Suns in the previous game.
76ers’ Lack of Point Guard Play
Injuries to James Harden and Tyrese Maxey have stalled the 76ers’ season. Both were set out to be the team’s primary ball-handlers, and when Harden went down it was Maxey’s time to shine, but he quickly got injured as well.
It has left the team with very few options at the guard positions, which has resulted in Embiid leading the team in assists over these last two losses. While he has improved as a passer, it is still not the primary role you would want your MVP-caliber center playing.
While Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton have played well since being promoted to the starting lineup, it has left the 76ers with no guard help off the bench. In the last seven games, Milton has been impressive in his expanded role, averaging over 20 points and 6.6 assists. Melton is also averaging 13.9 points and 3.4 assists per game.
The 76ers don’t have much support off the bench because those players now have to start. It has changed how the team functions, relying more on Embiid, but he still needs help. He has 35 points against the Grizzlies, but the bench struggled.
Rockets Have Youth
The Rockets have the second-youngest roster in the NBA as the team continues its rebuild in the wake of trading Harden. In the grand scheme, it seems like the Rockets are trending in the right direction with this young core of players getting all the experience they need.
In the last four games, they have faced teams from the top tier of the Western Conference – the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors – and have gone 1-3. Mostly, they got blown out by the Nuggets twice and by the Warriors in the last game.
However, they beat the Suns 122-121 in Phoenix, who had previously been 11-1 at home. The Suns, at one point, had a 16-point lead, but a 36-25 fourth quarter sealed the win for Houston. Because of the Rockets’ youth and potential for star power, they are not a team you can sleep on.
Jalen Green had 30 points on a poor shooting night, but the rest of the starting lineup all had over 10 points, as well as Bruno Fernando, with 14 off the bench.
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
76ers vs Rockets Game Injuries
76ers vs Rockets Head-to-Head
The 76ers have had the upper hand over the Rockets, winning their last five games.
76ers vs Rockets Game Information
- Game: 76ers (12-11) vs Rockets (6-17)
- Location: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
- Day/Time: Monday, Dec. 5, 8 p.m. EST
- 76ers vs Rockets Live stream: NBA Game Pass
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76ers vs Rockets Betting Lines
76ers vs Rockets Picks & Prediction
It does not seem like the 76ers have it all clicking right now. Embiid has looked great, but the rest of the roster has not been up to the usual standards, especially with the lack of guard play due to injuries. They should have enough to muster up a win over the Rockets due to Embiid alone.
However, the Rockets still can catch teams off-guard, and while they won’t win, they could take advantage of the struggling 76ers and cover the eight-point spread.
The Philadelphia 76ers are listed at -300 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the 76ers, you have a chance to win $33. The Houston Rockets is +250, offering a chance to win $250 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Philadelphia 76ers a 75.00% chance to win, with the Houston Rockets at 28.57%.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.