It's unfortunate the Sixers had limited time to celebrate their big win over the Spurs last night, but 1,200 miles lie between then and their destination for the second night of a back-to-back, Minneapolis. Kevin Love and Co. had a shorter trip from Indiana, where they lost. It looks like another test for our beloved Sixers. Brief preview, long game thread to follow.
Check out the Q&A I did with TWolvesBlog leading into the game. Also, check out the other half right here, where they answer my questions.
Also, here's a Sixers highlight reel sent in by a reader:
PG: Jrue Holiday vs. the guy who was drafted 11 spots ahead of him
SG: Jodie Meeks vs. Corey Brewer
SF: Andre Iguodala vs. Wes Johnson (or Michael Beasley)
PF: Elton Brand vs. Kevin Love
C: Spencer Hawes vs. Nikola Pekovic (or Darko Milicic)
Let's not spend a ton of time talking about the T-Wolves, specifically. If Beasley plays, I'm looking forward to seeing how he deals with Iguodala's defense. If he insists on shooting, I expect it to be a very long night for him. Speaking of long nights, Kevin Love is shooting 43.9% from three, making him a horrible matchup for Elton Brand. He's also the best rebounder to play in this league since Dennis Rodman, making him a nightmare matchup for Thad Young. I'm really not sure what you can do about love besides just accepting that he's going to go for like 25/20 and concentrating on limiting everyone else. The Flynn/Jrue matchup is a complete joke, and one the Sixers should just abuse for about 40 minutes.
Now that we've got the particulars of this matchup out of the way, let's talk big picture. The Sixers just finished a stretch of five games against playoff teams, teams above .500.
vs. NYK - W
@ NYK - L
@ ATL - W
vs. ORL - L
vs. SAS - W
To come out of that stretch 3-2 is huge, but there's work left to be done prior to the All Star break. Tonight's game is the first of three straight on the road, win all three and they go to the break 28-28. That's too lofty of a goal. They need to take 2/3. It doesn't matter which two, but to be realistic, tonight's game has to be one of the wins. They finish the trip with a back-to-back in Memphis and Houston, and I don't like their odds of taking both of those games. Minnesota is a bad team, terrible. The Sixers have done a great job of putting away the bad teams over the past couple of months, they need to continue that tonight. Get this win, do whatever you have to do.
Prediction: PHI 102, MIN 91
The tip is at 8pm. I'll be right here throughout, join me for a rockin' Saturday night game thread.
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