The Sixers will bring their newfound offensive aggression to Indiana to see if it works against a tough front court as well as it did against the cupcakes in New York. Expect a tight game between two defensive minded teams. Playoff atmosphere in Indy? The game certainly could have implications.
Belying the whole toughness theme, Spencer Hawes will make his triumphant return to the lineup (in limited minutes) tonight against one of the centers who abused him early in the season, Roy Hibbert. Evan Turner's impact on the defensive glass is also going to get a big test today, the Pacers rank 8th in the league in offensive-rebounding rate. They also get to the line a ton. If they're going to come away with a W, the Sixers are going to have to continue battling some of the demons they've been haunted by the entire season. I think they're up to the task:
The tip is at 7pm, on ESPN. This is your game thread. I'll be right here throughout crossing my fingers that Hawes doesn't disrupt what we've seen over the past three games by reverting back to the pre-December 2011 version of himself. Join me if you feel like making a statement to Team USA's "graveyard shift," Danny Granger and co.
Prediction: PHI 95, IND 90 (the 100-points-scored streak ends, but the winning streak lives on).