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76ers vs. Pistons preview: UPDATE: No Joel Embiid vs. Andre Drummond, but we get Jimmy Butler vs. Stanley Johnson

The teams split the first two meetings with round three tonight.

Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons square off against Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the rest of the 17-9 Philadelphia 76ers tonight for, already, the third time this season. The two teams split the first two meetings with each winning at home. Blake Griffin’s 50-point explosion paced the Pistons’ victory on October 23rd while Joel Embiid’s utterly dominate 38 points, 17 rebounds were supplemented by three whistle-happy refs earning Philly a win 10 days later.

Not present during either game was the ever moody and talented Jimmy Butler.

So, yeah, that kind of changes things.

Game vitals

When: Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass


UPDATE: Joel Embiid is being rested by the Sixers tonight, and will not play. Continue reading with the satisfaction that we won’t see a free-throw parade.

Embiid v. Drummond

A record I hope to see stand for a long time.

You don’t need a dose of truth serum to admit Embiid is the better player, but for the love of God, swallow the whistle and let them settle the score in the flow of the game. Embiid trolled Drummond into an ejection during Detroit’s win, and early foul trouble sidelined Dre in Philadelphia.


After Detroit’s win, Embiid let everyone know he’s inside of Dre’s head:


If you have to tell me that you’re in someone’s head, you’re not (same goes for Stanley Johnson/LeBron James).

UPDATE/EDITOR’S NOTE: I predict Embiid’s mission tonight is to get Drummond ejected while he’s in street clothes. And it’s possible.

Drummond isn’t afraid to challenge Embiid, but results may vary:

Drummond cannot allow the game to turn into a glorified one-on-one. Do Drummond things and let the pieces fall where they may.

Jimmy Buckets

The 76ers are 8-3 since the arrival of Butler including two near identical game-winning shots courtesy of their new star:

Butler is a supremely talented player who wore out his welcome in Minnesota. And Chicago. Moving forward, it will surely be interesting to see how he fits, or doesn’t fit, with Philadelphia’s already established budding stars.

Should everything go smoothly, Butler comfortably puts Philadelphia in the first tier of Eastern Conference contenders. If the chemistry isn’t right, though, he might need to forward his mail to the city of a fourth team in four years. Early returns are promising, but if The Process is over championship contention is the logical next step. We shall see.

Projected lineups

UPDATE: Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, (NOT) Joel Embiid, Wilson Chandler, Jimmy Butler

Reggie Jackson, Langston Galloway, Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, Glenn Robinson III

Stay tuned to the GameThread for up-to-date lineups.


We knew December was going to be tough.

Philadelphia 100
Detroit 104

Community Question

Wilson Chandler, Benton Harbor, took home the state of Michigan’s 2005 Mr. Basketball award. Who is the most impressive high schooler you’ve witnessed live?

My answers: Shane Battier, Country Day; Brandon Cotton, Detroit DePorres; Cassius Winston, U of D Jesuit