The Lakers limp in to the Wells Fargo Center tonight minus their mastermind head coach, Mike Brown, and the heart and soul of their savvy second unit Steve Blake. We can only hope the Sixers can continue to take advantage of these hobbled teams and put another hollow win on the board. The Sixers will be without Elton Brand, but he's not really that important to what they do, so we'll just ignore that.
Sorry, just thought I'd get the excuses out of the way before the game even starts. Big test for the Sixers tonight, literally and figuratively. If they can keep the Lakers' bigs from dominating, and they can somehow collect at least a decent percentage of available defensive rebounds (let's say 70% or better), they should be fine. If Bynum and Gasol go off, it could be a long night.
Brand is definitely out (he wanted to play), everyone else is available for the Sixers. Mike Brown has been suspended for physically assaulting a referee, so John Kuester will handle the sideline duties. I'm sure you all remember Kuester as the captain of a Pistons ship which mutinied last season. If you caught the Lakers loss to the Jazz on Saturday night, it appeared as though Matt Barnes was calling Kuester a four-letter word when he was pulled from the game in favor of Jason Kapono (and really, who could blame him?).
I have a sinking feeling Kapono is going to find a way to hit a couple of threes tonight, just to stick it to Philadelphia for realizing he's a useless basketball player.
The tip is at 7pm. This is your game thread. Join me if you'd love to see Kobe take 40 shots to get 40 points in a Lakers loss.
Prediction: PHI 87, LAL 85 (Kobe misses a fadeaway at the buzzer that would've tied it up, no one notices because he's so super-clutch).