Philadelphia 76ers: 5 must-see November matchups

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia 76ers
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

4. San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers. Friday, November 22nd at 8 PM.

Gregg Popovich took over as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1996-97 season. Ever since, the seasoned 71-year old basketball mastermind has been a pillar of the Spurs’ continued excellence.

For 22 consecutive seasons, the Spurs have made the playoffs. Seeing a historically successful franchise on the schedule serves as an annual measuring stick.

Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan has a history of giving the Sixers fits, particularly in his days with the Toronto Raptors. In his last season with Toronto (2017-18), DeRozan poured in an average of 32 points a game against Philly.

Through eight games, DeRozan leads the Spurs with 21 shooting fouls drawn. With Philly sporting a defense headlined by aggressive wing players like Matisse Thybulle, it will be key to keep a crafty scorer like DeRozan off of the free-throw line.

At age 30, DeRozan is just a fraction of the vets the Spurs roll onto the court. Notably, 34-year-old LaMarcus Aldridge sports a line of 19.0 points and 6.6 rebounds this season.

Aldridge is known for his solid jumper for his 6-foot-11 frame, shooting just under 57 percent on shots between 16-feet and the three-point line this season.

Both Sixers’ big men Joel Embiid and Al Horford might have to collapse outside the paint more than usual to combat this, giving the Spurs ample opportunities for their wings to slash to the hoop.