These games just get stranger and stranger. In an attempt to prove my ethos, I have to admit that I was born in Philadelphia while my dad was in seminary. I only spent about 3 months there, so I can't call it my home, but it is interesting to find connections where previously no connections seemed to be able to be found. Also, my wife works for Wells Fargo whose name is on the 76ers stadium. As Lewis Carroll would say, "Curiouser and Curiouser." It's almost as if I was destined to do this preview.
The Sixers, yes I simplified the name by 7 characters because I'm hip and with it, began this year without the weight of Sam Dalembert's contract. Having traded the Black Hole of Haiti to Sacramento for Nocioni and Spencer Hawes while bringing in Doug Collins (who coached Michael Jordan) to spice up the arena and provide a first round exit with the Heat or Celtics, the Sixers have matched their best outing of the season in the last 6 games. Currently in the 7th seed of the Eastern Conference roundup, they have won 22-18 after starting the season 2-10.
Last game we played them, way back in November, we destroyed them on the star power of Blair, Manu and Tony. I see this game not being as easy. First of all, a new coach and 2 new rotation players will throw off the mentality of the team. We saw it last year with the Spurs (with just RJ coming in) a little bit. Second, Philadelphia is 7 games above .500 at home, and -11 away. Thirdly, we caught them on a SEGABABA in November. They didn't play last night. Lastly, this is a THIGAFONI for the Spurs and the Sixers have been averaging 26 fastbreak points a game since the beginning of February. Granted, this number is hugely bloated because of that Atlanta explosion where they beat the Hawks by 34 in Atlanta, but still. Expect the Sixers to run, I just hope our tired legs keep up.
As I mentioned above, Doug Collins is now the coach of this team. I didn't think it worked when they hired him, and I don't think it's working now. Collins is more of a coach who asks one of his players to dominate the ball (ala Michael Jordan pre-geometrical offense). The problem is that this team doesn't have an all-NBA creator for the offense. I've heard many good things from different blogs about Jrue Holliday and while he may be solid, he's no D-Rose or CP3. Andre Igoudala would be more suited to the Richard Jefferson role, if he wasn't paid so much, because he can't really create offense for the whole team. Brand is, sadly, only about 80% of his former self. This team needs a set offense to score points. However, another way to get those points is using the fastbreak. And that's what this team has done to go 7-3 in their last 10.
But enough talk, I know you're just salivating to get at my matchup analysis for these guys. Pavlov has trained you well, it seems.
San Antonio Spurs @ Philadelphia 76ers
Where: Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
When: February 11, 2010 6:00 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: FOX SW
By the Numbers
PG:Parker needs to dominate Fisher. Tony has been on a tear on this road trip (forgetting that Portland game we don't talk about). I think he's playing with a chip on his shoulder because he got left off the all-star team. Holiday is a solid point guard, but he's no finals MVP. Advantage: Spurs
SG: Jodie Meeks has lit it up this season at times. A streaky shooter who scored 20 points in the first quarter of one game. He only averages 9.7 though. Even if he goes off, Manu gets the Spur, but let's make sure he doesn't shoot the lights out.
SF: Iguodala would be a fantastic addition to the Spurs, if he ever learned how to shoot the corner three with proficiency. Unfortunately for him, while getting the Spur of RJ, he's in a worse situation without the "Medium Fundamental" teaching him how to play basketball.
PF: I hear the outcry. Brand over Blair? Well, Brand was once an all-star, which cannot be said about Blair... yet. Brand gets the Spur
C: Hawes vs. Duncan... need I say more?
Our bench depth took a hit when Calderon decided to flop on a Ginobili shove and nearly destroyed Splitter. Hopefully, if Tiago doesn't play, Dyess is up for it. The Sixers have 3 solid bench players, 2 of which (Speights and Young) can easily cause matchup problems for the Spurs.
Doug Collins has Michael Jordan AND Scottie Pippen, and still didn't win the Championship. Pop has 4.
THIGAFONI for us... Have to give them the intangibles.
The Steelers lost. Blair brings chip-on-shoulder mojo. Also, we're no longer in Detroit.
I don't expect us to shoot well from 3. I expect them to get a lot of fastbreak points. Even with these problems, I send a comfortable 6 point win for the good guys.
Key(s) to the Game
Key 1 - Slow them down on the fastbreak. We need to send guys back to stop AI 2.0 and co. from destroying us with easy baskets.
key 2 - Make them shoot the jumpshot. I think we should concede this on the defensive end and limit them to one shot per possession.
48 Minutes of Hell - Fantastic writers who know how to write. This is what all other team's blogs wish they were.
Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back.
Project Spurs - A different take on your same old Spurs
Spurs Nation - What can I say? Read them!
Liberty Ballers (SB Nation) - A solid blog with good community. Be nice and don't insult their city (yes, I'm talking to you Big50).
WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]
As always, 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. You can also shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.
the email for reference) for further assistance.