A familiar face will be absent from today's game. Andre Iguodala is expected to miss his first game in over three seasons with an achilles sprain. It's Sunday, so we're going to roll three posts into one. Let's do a quick preview of today's game at MSG, an extremely brief key indicators from Friday's loss to Cleveland and finally a long (hopefully) game thread for the matinee in New York.
I'm going to be attending today's game, so you guys will be on your own for the game thread. Keep it civil, if you can. Follow me on Twitter
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. I'll post some updates from the Garden with pictures on both.
: Let's just check out the at-the-rim vs. long twos ratios from the Cleveland game:
- At the rim: 19/23 (led by Lou, 4/6)
- 16-23 feet: 9/25 (led by Brand, 1/5
- Ratio: 0.95
- At the rim: 21/30
- 16-23 feet: 9/16
- Ratio: 1.88
Yeah, Dalembert isn't missed at all. Not a bit.
: Last I heard, Nocioni is expected to play and start today, despite a tweaked ankle. I also haven't heard anything about removing
the black hole
Spencer Hawes from the starting lineup, so here's my best guess for the matchups:
- PG: Jrue Holiday vs. Raymond Felton
- SG: Evan Turner vs. Landry Fields
- SF: Andres Nocioni vs. Danilo Gallinari
- PF: Elton Brand vs. Amare Stoudemire
- C: Spencer Hawes vs. Timofey Mozgov
Of the starters, I like Brand's matchup on the offense. Amare plays no defense. Ride that one if you can. Turner vs. Fields should be interesting. Fields has good size and he's been playing very well. Second overall pick vs. second-round surprise. For the Sixers to have any chance at all, they need Jrue to dominate his matchup. On the defensive end, Gallinari will have a field day if left alone, which means Brand needs to be able to handle Amare on his own, or at least slow him down. It also means that under no circumstances should Thad Young be tasked with guarding the Rooster. That's a disaster waiting to happen.
The matchup I'm most looking forward to, though, is Jrue Holiday vs. Toney Douglas. Douglas doesn't get enough press, but I think he was the steal of the draft last season (after Jrue, of course). The guy defends, he shoots, he can score. When the Knicks signed Raymond Felton, I thought they may have wasted some money because Douglas has a bright, bright future. Mike D'Antoni has been finding more minutes for the kid recently and he's responded in a big way. Basically, Douglas is the kind of I guy I want on the Sixers filling the Lou Williams role. Speaking of which, if Lou winds up on Douglas, expect a big game from Toney.
I'm disappointed Iguodala won't be playing today, especially because I'm going to be there, but some good comes with the bad. I don't see any way Evan Turner doesn't play 35 minutes against the Knicks. Maybe this a breakthrough game for the kid.
I'll take the Sixers to shock the world, mostly because I can't wait to hear people start saying the Sixers are better off without Iguodala. PHI 101, NYK 100.
The tip is at noon, and the game will be over in plenty of time to watch the Eagles vs. the Colts. Enjoy!