The Spectrum deserves to be shut down following a Sixer win, right? After the jump we'll take a look at how the Andres and Co. can bid farewell to the old building and make the Sixers legends in attendance proud.
A few things stand out from the stats above. First,Chicago's eFG allowed. I'm kind of surprised the number was that low, considering they allow almost 103 points per game. Obviously, the problems lie in the other four factor areas: they don't force turnovers, they don't secure their defensive glass and they foul way too much. If you look at the Sixers' statistical strengths, this should be a perfect matchup for them.
On the Sixers defensive side, there seem to be two keys:
- Defend the three. The Bulls are a below-average team from the field, but above average from three. This is mostly due to Ben Gordon, who is shooting an impressive 41.9% on over 5 attempts per game. Kirk Hinrich is the only other guy on their roster who is above average, he's hitting at 42.6% on 3.2 attempts per. Tim Thomas also shoots over 40%, but he's questionable for tonight's game. If you're going to help off someone, it has to be Rose. He's shooting a dismal 25%.
- Keep them off the offensive glass. Noah averages 4.8 o-boards per 36 minutes. Don't be surprised, that's his role on offense. Get a body on him, keep a body on him. Tyrus Thomas will eschew position for freakish athleticism on the offensive glass. You can beat that with good technique. I'm looking at you, Thad.
I'm just guessing, but I believe Andre Miller will be on the ball tonight from the get-go. They won't want him running through screens following Ben Gordon all over the floor. This is not a good thing for a couple of reasons. First, Rose torched him a couple times with crossovers back in December. Second, Willie Green is a much better defender on the ball. Don't misinterpret that comment. Overall, he's a bad defender, he's just less bad when he's on the ball. It's a simpler assignment. When he has to chase shooters all over the floor through screen after screen, he gets lost and his man gets wide-open shots. Keep an eye on this tonight. If he's getting burned time and time again, DiLeo will have no choice but to switch Miller onto Gordon, or call on Royal Ivey early.
I believe the Sixers hold two huge advantages in this game. Number one is Andre Iguodala vs. John Salmons. Iguodala should be able to shut Salmons down, and on the other end of the floor Salmons doesn't have the footspeed nor the strength to deal with Iggy anywhere on the floor. From looking at their roster, the Bulls will probably go with a three-guard lineup from time to time, with Gordon, Rose and Hinrich all on the floor at the same time. They could choose to go really small, and slide Salmons to the four. If this happens, Thad should have a field day against Salmons in the post.
This is a game the Sixers must have. There are pitfalls left and right, but they have to overcome them. Not just so they can shut down the Spectrum on a winning note, but because the Bulls are one o the teams their chasing and they face another on Sunday in the Heat. The Pistons play the Raptors tonight, so they're probably going to need just to tread water in the battle for the sixth seed.
The tip is at 7 p.m., I'm going to do my best to be here for the tip, but I'm bogged down with work. I may have to catch up on TiVo, so if you're watching, leave your thoughts in the comments and I'll chime in when I get here.
Check out Tremendous Upside Potential
for your Bulls fix (and Rose propaganda).