Expert Cappers Picks
National Basketball Association
Preview
Indiana at Philadelphia
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, December 14, 2018
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Joel Embiid is playing like an MVP candidate again with Jimmy Butler out of the lineup, but the Philadelphia 76ers are missing their closer. The 76ers hope to have Butler back from a groin injury when they host the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

Butler, who was injured in Monday's win over Detroit and is considered day-to-day, sat out Wednesday and watched Philadelphia send the Brooklyn Nets to the free-throw line 43 times in a 127-124 setback. "I think it's just communication on our end," point guard Ben Simmons told reporters of the team's defensive effort against Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who knocked down 13 free throws en route to a career-high 39 points. "I think we just need to communicate more (when playing) that team. It's the same thing every time we play them." The Pacers are familiar with playing without a star but got Victor Oladipo (knee) back from an 11-game absence on Wednesday and fit him in seamlessly while cruising to a 113-97 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, pushing their winning streak to five straight. "I thought he was perfect," Indiana coach Nate McMillan told reporters of Oladipo. "You know, when you've been off for a long time like that, you focus on the defensive end of the floor ... you get your wind that way offensively and just allow the game to come to you. He's been watching us for the last couple of weeks and I thought he did a good job of moving the ball and getting guys involved."

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Indiana, NBCS Philadelphia

ABOUT THE PACERS (18-10): Indiana is allowing an average of 95 points during its winning streak and limited Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo to 12 points on Wednesday. "It was a team effort, but we did talk about (power forward Thaddeus Young) doing a good job of keeping Antetokounmpo in front of him and keeping him off the boards," McMillan told reporters. "With Thad doing such a good job of containing him, our defense didn't have to collapse and give them open 3's from the perimeter. That's where is starts for us, it's got to be a team effort ... tonight, our guys were connected on the defensive end of the floor." Young finished with a team-high 25 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists in the victory.

ABOUT THE 76ERS (19-10): Philadelphia was also missing reserve power forward Mike Muscala (illness) on Wednesday, and the absence of the two key rotation pieces was noted by the rest of the team. "It's hard," Simmons told reporters. "I mean, you get used to a guy being there. Then two guys are out that you are used to having in there, which means other guys have to step up and fill that role, come in and play defense, rebounding." Embiid recorded his 25th double-double with 33 points and 17 rebounds but attempted only three shots in the second half.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. 76ers SG Furkan Korkmaz scored 18 points in each of the last two games, raising his season average to 5.8 points.

2. Indiana C Myles Turner is averaging 24.5 points over the last two games.

3. Philadelphia took the first meeting 100-94 at Indiana on Nov. 7 as Simmons and Embiid each recorded a double-double.

PREDICTION: 76ers 109, Pacers 104
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Indiana 18-10 W5 10-4 8-6 0-0 18-10 4-1 12-3
Philadelphia 19-10 L1 14-2 5-8 1-0 18-10 2-5 14-9
Last Meeting
Indiana Philadelphia
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/7/18 PHI 100 IND 94 94 41 39.4 100 43 45.6
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Indiana V. Oladipo 36 46.7 4
Philadelphia J. Embiid 20 43.8 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Indiana D. Sabonis 11 3 8
Philadelphia J. Embiid 10 1 9
Assists Player  
Indiana V. Oladipo 7
Philadelphia B. Simmons 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Indiana B. Bogdanovic 487 51.4 80
Philadelphia J. Embiid 814 47.1 241
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Indiana D. Sabonis 297 77 220
Philadelphia J. Embiid 396 70 326
Assists Player  
Indiana D. Collison 170
Philadelphia B. Simmons 243
Quickchart Matchup
Indiana Indiana Off vs  Philadelphia Philadelphia Defense
Indiana Off vs Philadelphia - Points For 106.4 Points For
Indiana Off vs Philadelphia - Points Against 112.0 Points Against
Indiana - FG% 47.7 FG%
Philadelphia - FG% 44.4 FG%
Indiana - Reb 43.8 Reb
Philadelphia - Reb 44.0 Reb
Philadelphia Philadelphia Off vs  Indiana Indiana Defense
Philadelphia Off vs Indiana - Points For 114.2 Points For
Philadelphia Off vs Indiana - Points Against 101.3 Points Against
Philadelphia - FG% 46.5 FG%
Indiana - FG% 44.0 FG%
Philadelphia - Reb 47.3 Reb
Indiana - Reb 42.2 Reb