Game Preview: Philadelphia 76ers at San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs vs Philadelphia 76ers

AT&T Center
3/25/12, 6:00 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: WOAI 1200 AM

The Spurs have won the first two games of their first triple lindy and tonight they complete the 3rd game in three nights. This schedule is so stupid. Don't get me wrong, this is a completely winnable game, but it is also completely loose-able. The Spurs first curb stomped the Mavericks and then squeaked out a win in the Big Easy which put them at 32-14 on the year 3 games up on 4th and three games down from first. Squarely in 2nd place in the Western Conference. Tonights opponent are the 76ers from the City of Brotherly Love.

The 76ers are one of the most surprising teams of this lockout year. They currently sit in 4th place in the Eastern Conference and sport the 3rd best point differential in the NBA. Doug Collins is apparently a pretty good coach, despite his lack of ability as a TV color man. Ok, maybe that's harsh, but count me among those glad to see him roaming the sidelines and not commenting on games. In all seriousness, he has done a fantastic job with a formerly underachieving group in Philly. I'm not sure if they have the horses to compete with Chicago and Miami, but they certainly will be playing defense all the way down.

The Spurs on the other hand seem to have a stable full or horses that they can ride. I typed it, read it, re-read it and I'm leaving it as is. With the addition of Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson this team suddenly appears to be super deep and able to win despite missing some of it's best players. I know the win against Dallas made a lot of us down the kool-aid, but the win in New Orleans is nothing to sneeze at. Missing Manu, Neal and Splitter the Spurs beat a very tough, albiet not great, division opponent on the road on the second game of a back to back. A couple of nice wins.

To me, the real questions about San Antonio's depth will come tonight and in the following weeks. There are 20 regular season games left. That's not a ton of time to get everyone healthy and integrated into the system. Of course if there's a coach that can do it, it's CIA Pop. That's a lot of pressure that I'm heaping on him, but I'm sure he can handle it, assuming he heard about it or even cared.

Tonight's task will be to keep the leagues 2nd most efficient offense clicking while trying to overcome the NBA's best rated defense. The Sixers are decidedly average on offense, but they will straight up shut you down with their defense. They are long and athletic, so ball movement will be key. If the Spurs can get some dribble penetration and nice ball movement they should be able to handle Philly's D.

Song of the day:


My best guess at lineups:

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: DeJuan Blair

Key Bench Players
Gary Neal
Tiago Splitter
Stephen Jackson

Lineups

Starters
PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Evan Turner
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: Elton Brand
C: Spencer Hawes

Key Bench Players
Thaddeus Young
Louis Williams
Jodie Meeks

NBA Stats Cube Lineup Comparison Here. Sixers perspective can be found here: Liberty Ballers.

Game Prediction: Spurs win with Manu leading the way in a defensive struggle.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.

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