Is Ben Simmons Debuting on January 27th?
The Philadelphia 76ers don’t often get nationally televised games. They aren’t a playoff team, of course, and they actually hadn’t had a playoff game in years prior to this season. This year, they’ve had two nationally televised games, and the performances from the Sixers in those games have not been too hot, certainly not like they have been playing in the last few weeks.
Recently, however, despite those poor performances on national television, the Sixers were reportedly moved to a primetime slot on ESPN on January 27th instead of the Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat game that was previously scheduled there.
So, what gives? The Sixers haven’t been must-watch television the past two times they were on national television this season, so what makes ESPN think a game where the Sixers are going up against one of the powerhouses of the Western Conference (the Rockets are third in the Western Conference and have lost just 12 games) will be good?
The Bulls and Heat, before this season, would have seemed like a really good game between Dwyane Wade and his former team, but with the Heat recently seeing injuries to some crucial members of their team — such as Justise Winslow — that game doesn’t seem quite as enticing. The Bulls also haven’t been as exciting lately, either, certainly nothing like their hot start to the season. But still, it seems like it would bring in more viewers than Sixers vs. Rockets.
Oh, and then there was this…
Shortly after that national TV announcement, a wild Ben Simmons instagram post appears…. pic.twitter.com/XKkUoNGk2g
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) January 18, 2017
The post seems like Simmons is trying to imply something about the national TV announcement. Is he debuting that night?
It seems too early to tell whether or not the game was moved to that slot as a possible debut of the top overall pick from this year’s draft, but ESPN did have their first game of the season slated to show off Simmons and Joel Embiid before Simmons went down with injury. Maybe they want redemption on that hype.
In all reality, despite the huge positive steps Simmons has made in his recovery as of late, debuting on January 27th seems very premature for the Sixers. As cool as this would be, it’s probably just a coincidence that the Sixers were flexed to that spot. But hey, if Simmons is ready, I’ll take it.
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