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Can They Salvage the Trip?

http://www.depressedfan.com/img/TonyParker0101309.jpg
I'm not sure if even a win will salvage the trip. Can you really be happy with a 2-4 finish? I guess under the circumstances, it would be night and day better than the alternative.

Had things broken their way, the Sixers would be 2-3 on the trip right now. That game in Denver should've been a win. They've strung together at least a couple of quarters of solid basketball in all six games, but they only came away with the win they should've had. Looking at the schedule before the trip, it screamed 1-5, tonight is their last chance to defy expectations, but I just don't see it happening.

sixgame33pregame.jpg
According to the numbers, this Spurs team hasn't been the dominant force they once were, but the numbers don't tell the whole story. San Antonio lost Parker and Ginobli to injury earlier in the year. Since getting everyone healthy, they've won 12 of their past 15. If you need something to hang your hat on, I can give you two rays of light.

  1. Last season the Sixers played 2 of their best games against the Spurs (here and here)
  2. The Spurs lost to the Bucks on Tuesday, needed double overtime to beat the Grizzlies last Saturday and OKC put up 104 points on them.
Perhaps they've been playing down to the level of their opponents.

One thing to keep an eye on tonight is how the Spurs space the floor when Duncan works in the post. In their first game last season, it was doubling off shooters that did the Sixers in. (Anyone remember Iggy leaving Ginobli three times in the fourth quarter?) The Spurs offense is a great example of where we need the Sixers to get to when Brand comes back, hopefully Coach DiLeo is paying attention tonight.

The tip is at 8:30 p.m., I'll be here, live, so join the discussion in the comments.
by Brian on Jan 3 2009
Tags: Basketball | Pregame | Sixers | Spurs |