There are certain coaches in every sport who I will always remember fondly. Buddy Ryan is one, for his insane defensive schemes and equally mind-numbing offensive "system." Larry Bowa is another, I feel like he had a greater impact on the Yankees than any third base coach ever should, and it was a positive impact. In basketball, my guilty pleasure is Larry Brown.
It's probably going to take a championship for any Sixers team to surpass the 2000-2001 Sixers as my favorite team. They had one star, and not a terribly efficient star (Iverson shot 42% from the floor, 32% from three and had an assist/turnover ratio of 1.39 in his MVP season), one clumsy center who blocked shots and grabbed rebounds like it was nobody's business, and nothing else. Brown took a team to the NBA Finals with George Lynch, Tyrone Hill and Eric Snow as it's starters.
He was the only guy who ever figured out what type of players Iverson needed to be surrounded by for the team to succeed. That was truly a magical season and Brown deserves a lion's share of the credit for it.
I'll always have that warm spot for Larry, but that doesn't stop me from wanting the Sixers to mop the floor with his Bobcats team tonight. A quick look at the game after the jump.
The shocking thing I pulled from the numbers above is that a team who scores 91.5 points per game shoots better than the Sixers. It obviously has a lot to do with how Brown likes to pace the game, but still, that's just sad.
A bunch of quick bullets:
- Expect the Bobcats to double Iguodala and double him hard. Someone else is going to have to help him out. I'd like to see more minutes from Speights tonight, because they're going to need to have as many offensive options on the floor as possible.
- Augustin, Diaw and Bell are all shooting well from downtown. No one else on the team is.
- Keep an eye out for lineups with Felton and Augustin both on the floor at the same time. That lineup killed the Sixers last time they met.
- I'd probably put Iggy on Gerald Wallace and Thad on Diaw to start the game. Wallace is a devastating driver and Iggy's strength should be more helpful than Thad's length in that match-up.
- A run for Donyell and/or Rush is possible tonight. The Bobcats allow opponents to shoot 37% from three.
- Adam Morrison and Matt Carroll have combined to shoot 37/120 from three (30.8%). That doesn't make much sense to me. Let's hope they don't pick tonight to get hot.
- Okafor is averaging 4.0 offesive rebounds/game. Keep him off the glass.
Tip is at 7pm.