ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 14: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts towards Joel Embiid #21 during the second half of game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on June 14, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

By Dylan MacKinnon

All eyes will be on the city of Philadelphia tonight as the Sixers face the Nets. And not just local eyes. It’s a National game, meaning the eyes of the nation will be on this game. This game has several big storylines, but the biggest one will certainly be Ben Simmons returning to the Wells Fargo Center. He will not be playing, but his mere presence on the bench will be a story on its own.

Not only how will the fans react to Simmons being there, but how will his former teammates react. Because it was not just the fans he betrayed. In fact, the betrayal of his teammates is perhaps more egregious. Not only did he refuse to play, leaving them to pick up his slack. But he slung mud at teammates like Joel Embiid through his camp and the media. No one has a better reason to want to get revenge on Ben than Joel Embiid.

And it gets worse. Danny Green has said that Ben Simmons actually changed his numbers, making it hard for his teammates to even reach out to him this offseason. Joel Embiid and the Sixers will have a good reason to want to win this one. Even more so than usual.


But Ben isn’t even the only storyline. It will also be the first time James Harden faces his former team. And while his situation didn’t reach the drama of Simmons and the Sixers, Harden and the Nets left things on uneasy terms. He will not have to deal with Brooklyn fans. But there may still be some tension between him and his former teammates.

Even beyond all the drama, the matchup itself is a story. Injuries and Kyrie being Kyrie has caused the Nets to go on an extended losing streak. They even dropped into the  8 seed. But Nets are a contender even as a play-in team. Tonight’s game could very well be a preview of a playoff matchup between two NBA Juggernauts.

Join us tonight when the Sixers Face the Nets in a game that will very likely dominate the NBA conversation tomorrow. Our coverage of the game begins at 7:20 with the Pre-Game show, hosted by Devon Givens. Then Tom McGinnis is on the call at 7:30. Stay tuned after the game for the Post-Game show, and then our after the game call-in show In The Post with Devon Givens.