The Sixers will attempt to rebound from Saturday’s disappointing loss Monday when they face the Brooklyn Nets in Game 2 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs at 8 p.m. on TNT and NBC Sports Philadelphia. If Monday’s game didn’t feel important enough, the Sixers have never overcome an 0-2 playoff deficit.
NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller will be calling the game on TNT alongside Kevin Harlan, and thinks the Sixers’ success will ultimately hinge on the health of superstar Joel Embiid, who is listed as questionable after posting a double-double in Game 1 despite having been listed as doubtful with left-knee soreness.
“The good thing about the playoffs is there are no back-to-backs. Especially in the first round, you can have two, sometimes three days between games," Miller said. “So that’s a lot of rest.”
The Sixers will get three days of rest between Monday’s game and Game 3 on Thursday night in Brooklyn. If Ben Simmons bounces back from his terrible Game 1 performance and Embiid can return to full health, Miller thinks the Sixers have the second-best starting five in the NBA, behind the Golden State Warriors.
“I think they gave up a lot to get that nice starting five, and I’m worried about their rotation and if they have enough depth to go through the East to win it all,” Miller said. “The playoffs are draining, and you’re going to have an injury or something is going to happen. You’ve got to have depth to have a back-up plan, and I’m not quite sure they have that depth.”
That lack of depth was apparent during Game 1, with the Nets’ bench outscoring the Sixers’ bench 59-26. The only Sixers bench player who did much in Game 1 was 7-foot-3 backup center Boban Marjanovic, who scored 13 points, pulled down three rebounds, and had four assists in the 15 minutes, 23 seconds he played in place of Embiid.
When: Monday, April 15
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Time: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Ros Gold-Onwude) and NBC Sports Philadelphia (Marc Zumoff, Alaa Abdelnaby, Serena Winters)
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic (Tom McGinnis)
Streaming: TNT app, NBC Sports app, MyTeam app (all require cable authentication), Sling TV, Hulu Live, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, FuboTV (all require a subscription)
Sixers Pregame Live starts at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia, hosted by Amy Fadool alongside Jim Lynam and Marc Jackson. The three will return for Sixers Postgame Live following the game. Sixers Outsiders will follow, featuring Tyrone Johnson and Krystle Rich.
TNT NBA Tip-Off — hosted by Ernie Johnson and featuring analysts Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith — will quickly preview the game at 8 p.m. The crew will also offer analysis during halftime and return to offer full postgame analysis following Game 2 of the Los Angeles Clippers’ first round match-up against the Golden State Warriors.
• Keith Pompey observes that the Sixers need an answer for Ed Davis and might have a tough time hiding JJ Redick on the defensive end.
• Pompey also notes that Brett Brown didn’t get a full vote of confidence from Sixers managing partner Josh Harris.
• The Nets’ game plan will continue to focus on shutting down JJ Redick and Tobias Harris, writes Sarah Todd.
• Columnist David Murphy thinks there are four questions the Sixers need to answer.
• Lost in the Game 1 defeat was the solid performance from 7-foot-3 backup center Boban Marjanovic, writes Marc Narducci.
• Game 1: Nets 111, Sixers 102
• Game 2: Monday, April 15, 8 p.m., at Sixers (TNT, NBC Sports Philadelphia)
• Game 3: Thursday, April 18, 9 p.m., at Brooklyn (TNT, NBC Sports Philadelphia)
• Game 4: Saturday, April 20, 3 p.m., at Brooklyn (TNT, NBC Sports Philadelphia)
• Game 5 (if necessary): Tuesday, April 23, TBD, at Sixers (TBD, NBC Sports Philadelphia)
• Game 6 (if necessary): Thursday, April 25, TBD, at Brooklyn (TBD, NBC Sports Philadelphia)