The battle of heavyweights is the story of the night in the NBA

March 14, 2022

Nuggets at 76ers 

Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA 
7:30 PM ET 
Philadelphia -2.0 

It’s the game of the night. Perhaps the game of the season. And it has nothing to do with the teams involved. 

Yes, a battle between Philadelphia (41-25) and Denver (40-28) looks good on paper. And it should make for an intriguing battle. But that’s not the storyline tonight. 

Instead, it’s all about the big men. It’s all about the battle between the league’s top-two candidates in the race for the Most Valuable Player award. All eyes will be on Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic. 

The Nuggets come into the game struggling of late. They dropped back-to-back home games against Golden State and Toronto, falling two games back of Dallas in the race for the fifth seed in the West. 

The Sixers are also struggling. They won last night, but it took overtime to get the W in Orlando. And that came on the heels of an embarrassing 129-100 beatdown at the hands of the Nets last Thursday. 

All of that is secondary tonight, however. The standings won’t be on anyone’s mind. 

Instead, it’s a battle between the MVP candidates, the only time they’ll face off this season. If Jokic wins the matchup, he’ll have a huge leg up in his effort to win the award for the second-straight year. If Embiid is the better player tonight, it’ll go a long way in his quest to finally hoist the trophy. 

Expect both to play. Expect their teammates to rally around them. That should lead to a lot of points on the scoreboard. 

Jason Schlefsky’s pick: Over 220.5 (-110) 

Monday’s NBA Quick Picks 

Minnesota -3.5 (-110) 

Chicago -3.5 (-110) 

Toronto -4.0 (-110)