The Sixers will be without the services of Lou Williams tonight and tomorrow night. He's staying back in Philadelphia to be present for the birth of his daughter. You may have been surprised to see me describe this game as a favorable matchup, especially since Lou won't be making the trip, but the advantage truly does go to the Sixers.
Denver played a tough game in Oklahoma City last night, losing to the Thunder 114-106. They had to use their two main guys for heavy minutes, 39 for Chauncey Billups and 36 for Nene. They're also going to be without the services of Carmelo Anthony. I don't know for sure when the Sixers traveled to Denver, but they should've been in place while Denver was catching a late-night flight. Maybe Denver has a bit of a pride bump tonight, they've been playing poor basketball over their past ten games or so, but all things considered, the Sixers have a big opportunity to pick up their second win of the trip tonight.
We'll get to the lineups in a moment, but instead of breaking down the matchups tonight, I'm going to point out one thing we absolutely must see in this game. Denver has been using a lineup that features Ty Lawson at the point and Chauncey Billups at SG. If/when they go with that combo, Doug Collins absolutely must get Jodie Meeks out of the game and go with a big backcourt. Actually, he should go beyond the Iguodala/Jrue duo and get Evan Turner in the game with Iguodala. I can't think of a more favorable matchup for Turner than having Lawson guard him in the post. Billups on Iguodala is kind of a joke as well. I want to see Turner on the floor, at the point, for as many of Lawson's minutes as possible. He needs to get something positive going on the offensive end. He needs to build some confidence. Lou isn't available and this is a matchup that's honestly similar to being guarded by guys in the Big Ten last year, only Lawson's shorter. Take advantage of it, please.
- PG: Jrue Holiday vs. Chauncey Billups
- SG: Jodie Meeks vs. J.R. Smith
- SF: Andre Iguodala vs. Arron Afflalo
- PF: Elton Brand vs. Kenyon Martin
- C: Spencer Hawes vs. Nene Hilario
The tip is at 8pm, I'll be right here watching the snow fall. Join me if you've recovered from your food coma and need your Philly sports fix.
Prediction: PHI 106, DEN 103 (this is going to be the close win, I can feel it)