Tonight's Sixers/Pistons game probably isn't going to be pretty. The Sixers have not fared well against the Pistons over the past couple of seasons. The Pistons, as a team, are much better than the Sixers, there's no denying that. There is, however, one variable that we need to take into account before completely writing this game off as a loss, and that's pride.
Pride plays a factor in this game in a couple of ways:
1. The Sixers are coming off an absolutely embarrassing loss. Pride alone should be enough to up their level of play.
2. Front-and-center in the Pistons' rotation is former Sixer/pothead/cheater/malcontent/malingerer/quitter Chris Webber.
Every member of this Sixers team should take it as a personal affront that Webber quit on the team. The entire time he spent in Philly earlier this year he was pouting and faking injuries. When Iverson was finally traded, he completely cashed out. It's pretty clear he was saying "I don't want to play with these guys."
If that isn't motivation enough to exact some revenge on Webber, his lack of mobility and his lazy defense, I don't know what is. Be prepared Sixers, because Webber will not move his feet, he will not show on picks, he will not help in any meaningful way if Rip Hamilton gets beat off the dribble, but what he will do is reach in. That's his only move on defense. Secure the ball, run him ragged, box him out, and don't double-team him on offense.
Tonight's game is personal. Andre Iguoadala, this notorious loser said you weren't good enough for him. He'd rather sit at home than play with you. Andre Miller, Webber thinks your game isn't up to his standards. Go out there tonight and show him that he was wrong.
The matchup of the night is Andre Iguodala vs. Tayshaun Prince. In years past, Prince has locked down Allen Iverson with his length, Iguodala is going to be hard-pressed to put up numbers tonight. He's going to have to get into the open floor, and hit some jumpers to pull Prince out on him.
Prediction: Sixers lose a close one.
It looks like Chauncy Billups might be out tonight, good new for the Sixers.
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