If you can read the following headline without laughing you're a better man than I am: "Iguodala's tasks: Stop Bryant and score points." The Sixers will put 2006 to bed in Los Angeles tonight against Kobe Bryant and 11 other guys known as the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe is really the only name you need to know, however.
This is game 3 of the West coast swing for the Sixers, and while the first two game weren't pretty, tonight is shaping up to be a route. Since Allen Iverson's departure, Andre Iguodala has escalated his game on both sides of the ball, but this is just too much to ask of him. On Friday night in Portland, Iguodala played 46 minutes, scored 32 points, and disappeared in the fourth quarter. Not because the Trailblazers made any defensive adjustments, but because he was just plain tired. He's carrying the load on offense, and matching up with the other team's best player on D. Imagine what he's going to be up against tonight.
I don't think the Sixers have a prayer of winning this game, that being said, Mo Cheeks needs to save Iguodala for his offense. Kobe is going to score tonight, there's nothing you can do about that. Put Carney on him, put Ollie on him, put anyone but Iguodala on him. Let Iguodala rest up a little bit on defense, keep the Lakers' supporting cast in check and let Iguodala score the points. Play zone, use full-court pressure so Kobe doesn't get the ball in his hands until later in the shot clock. Don't go into L.A. thinking you can stop Kobe, strike at the team's weakness, everyone not named Kobe.