Ten days ago, the Sixers used a suffocating defense, sparked by their second unit, to stifle the Toronto Raptors for their fourth win of the season. Tonight, they're going to need more of the same.
The Raptors have shifted to a bigger starting lineup, with Valanciunas at the five, Bargnani at the four and Dominic McGuire at the three. Thad will be tasked with chasing Bargnani around on the perimeter, which is fine. On the offensive end, I'd like to see the Sixers use whoever Bargnani is guarding to set the screens for Jrue on the perimeter. Valanciunas is a very mobile big man, capable of swarming Jrue with a double. Bargnani, not so much.
The best plan of attack for Jrue would really be to use isolation when Calderon is on him, let him beat him off the dribble and penetrate that way, spread the floor with shooters. The Sixers seem hesitant to run this simple set, instead insisting on using their bigs. This is an adjustment they should've made within several games to this point, but haven't. Against an inferior defender like Calderon, it has to be part of the offense.
Mostly, I'd just like to see the Sixers pick up their seventh win, and a quarter like the second quarter in their first meeting would be a pleasure as well.
The latest Bynum news hopefully isn't news at all. The words "lesion" and "surgery" have surfaced in rumors. I'm going to continue to bury my head in the sand until he's either (a) ruled out for the season or (b) takes the floor. Nothing to see here until then.
Evan Turner is coming off his best game of the season. Let's see if he string a couple together with McGuire on him. The guy that worries me off their bench is Amir Johnson. He's been very productive this season, and the Sixers always seem to have problems with high energy big guys.
The tip is at 7pm. Use this as your game thread. I'm going to be working late again tonight, but I'll watch on DVR when I get home. A win tonight and the Sixers will salvage a 3-2 home stand after opening with two disappointing losses. It's the small things...