A road game against the 7-36 Charlotte Bobcats couldn't possibly be a barometer game for the division-leading Sixers...could it?
Three losses in a row stings, but take a step back and honestly look at it and maybe you can say they "could've" beaten Indy, or "could've" beaten the Bulls, but it was a still a really tough three-game stretch. A lot of teams would've dropped those three. The larger view has the Sixers at 3-3 over a 6-game stretch with two wins against winning teams, one against the Knicks and three losses to teams with very good records.
The failures have been frustrating, but they really haven't played that far above or below their heads. All the games went in a direction you could see them going before hand. Tonight is not one of those games. Tonight, the Sixers should absolutely demolish the Bobcats. Killing bad teams has been their one saving grace this season, if they lay an egg tonight, well, then they might just be in some serious trouble. If they can't take advantage of the easy ones, then the three-game losing streak starts to take on more meaning.
The Bobcats are coming off a 107-point offensive explosion in a win over the Toronto Raptors. They were led by their perimeter trio of Gerald Henderson, Corey Maggette and DJ Augustin (the last two combined for 23 free throws, or 1 more than Jrue Holiday has attempted in his last 16 games). Maggette is out, and I doubt the other two will repeat their performance against Iguodala, Turner and Jrue.
As always, we look to the front court and guys who could possibly exploit the Sixers limitations up there. Diaw has apparently fallen out of their rotation, which is a good thing for the Sixers who never seem to have an answer for him. BJ Mullens will attempt to stretch the floor. Bismack Biyombo has turned out to be exactly as billed. Tenacious on the glass, uber-athletic on the defensive end with the ability to come out of nowhere to block shots, and if we're giving him the benefit of the doubt, a zero on the offensive end. Prepare yourselves for a two-handed block from Biyombo tonight. It would be great if they could get him in foul trouble, but that's probably not going to happen.
It'll be interesting to see how Turner bounces back from his first poor game since settling into the starting lineup. Also interesting to see what Jrue does as an encore to the first 30-point game of his career.
The tip is at 7pm. This is your game thread. I'll be here throughout. Join me if you're either (A) holding out hope for this squad or (B) you're a glutton for punishment. I fall in both categories.
Prediction: PHI 110, CHA 85