A week-and-a-half ago, the Sixers were looking at a pretty easy stretch of schedule. Five straight home games, four against bad teams. The goal was winning 4-1, a win over the bottom-feeding Bobcats tonight and they've accomplished their modest goal.
The Bobcats get the bulk of their offense from the outside. Really, their offense is powered exclusively by their two PGs, with some good shooting from their off guards thrown into the mix. Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions combine to score 32 points-per-game, hand out just under 10 dimes and get to the line a combined 10 times. Both Ben Gordon and Gerald Henderson shoot over 40% from distance from the two. Outside of those guys, Charlotte is an absolute mess.
The Sixers need to focus their defense on the perimeter guys tonight. BJ Mullens heaves threes, but can't really hit them. In fact, none of Charlotte's bigs are a threat from anywhere, save Biyombo if he catches the ball within dunking distance of the rim. Jrue is going to have his hands full, and it's really important that the bigs make the adjustment to focus on the ballhandler in the pick-and-roll. The only way these bigs are going to hurt you is if you let them make a ton of hustle plays, which is obviously a concern when you consider the energy level of the Sixer bigs, but not nearly as much of a concern as the perimeter guys. Defend the perimeter tonight and you shouldn't have a problem.
On the offensive end, MKG is a legit wing defender. I assume Charlotte will put him on Nick Young, but you never know. Maybe they decide they need their best guy on Jrue. However they decide to play it, someone is going to get Kemba and that's a matchup which needs to be attacked, same with Ben Gordon, when he's in the game. There will always be a mismatch on the perimeter, don't give them a pass.
Put Haywood and Mullens into the pick-and-roll all night long. Take care of the ball, and use a team effort to keep the PGs out of the lane and off the line. Charlotte is a horrible team, make them look like one tonight.
The tip is at 8pm. This is your game thread. I'll be here throughout. Shovel some snow today, light a fire and join me.