Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Dr. J: Simmons 'maybe once-in-a-lifetime type'

Dr. J: Simmons 'maybe once-in-a-lifetime type'

After Tuesday night's tilt against the Nets, the Sixers have five games left to play. The game can be seen on Fox Sports - Detroit at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

The Pistons opened as a 1-point favorite before the spread flipped in Philly's favor, while the total has risen slightly from 215 points.

Brett Brown's playoff-bound squad continues to play its best basketball of the year, the latest exhibit coming in Tuesday's one-sided 121-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at The Center.

Atkinson is trying to model the Nets' rebuild after the 76ers. And in his second season, the power forward is averaging 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. If he can stay healthy - no sure thing given the way the Sixers have been snakebit in recent years - there's no telling how good Simmons will be in a couple of years.

Philadelphia recorded at least 20 assists for the 29th straight game. With the win, Detroit improved to 37-40 overall and 13-26 on the road.

Reggie Jackson vs Ben Simmons - This could potentially be a one-sided matchup, with Simmons a significantly more talented player than his counterpart in Jackson. The 76ers had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (31.7 vs. 12.5) and had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.567 vs. 0.429). His 16.8 potential assists are the fourth-most in the league behind Russell Westbrook, James and John Wall and he assists on more than a third of Philadelphia's baskets (38 percent) compared to 28 percent by James during his rookie year.

When scoring more than 100 points, the 76ers are 44-18 and the Pistons are 33-17.

The 76ers rank well in defensive rebounds per game (#1), assists per game (#2) and offensive rebounds per game (#3). Detroit may have won the game at the free throw line as they hit 25 of 32 attempts to the Nets' 10 of 15. The 76ers are ranked #4 in the conference and are 20-19 in away games this season. The 76ers are rolling and even playing the second game of a back to back, you can't overlook that momentum.

First it was the Philadelphia Eagles and the Super Bowl. Utah also went 11-15 in those games, and 10-14 in the Gobert-less games where Mitchell played (12-15 if you want to say he missed essentially 27 games when Gobert played two minutes against Boston on December 15 before getting hurt, which is fair). The Pistons are now 15 in the league in three point field goals with 10.5 per game while ranking tied for 7 by sinking 36.9 percent from downtown. Their 47-30 record now has them in fourth place in the east and facing a first round matchup against the Pacers, a side they would no doubt be confident of beating.

76ers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs.

So the hottest team in the East remained a half-game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, who come to town Friday night.

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