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Next Stop: Memphis

The Memphis Grizzlies and the second or third-best perimeter defender in the league await the Sixers tonight for the second game of the Ice Capades trip. Jason Richardson is out, which leaves Doug Collins with a decision for his starting lineup.

Either Nick Young or Dorell Wright will be added to the starting lineup. I'd go with Wright, mostly because I think Turner would have serious problems covering Gay. Wright has the size to deal with him. Of course, on the other end of the floor, if you slide Turner to the two, he's going to have to deal with Tony Allen. Memphis is one of the few teams against whom starting Jrue, Turner and Wright doesn't cause multiple size mismatches.

Jrue is going to have to dominate his matchup tonight. Conley is a steady PG with a tendency to be loose with the ball and the ability to vulture points when teams double off him. Don't get lulled into that mess. When Tony Allen is on the floor, the Griz are playing 4 on 5 on the offensive end. Allen's offense has been beyond pitiful, and whoever's guarding him needs to be the roving helper. Double Gasol whenever he touches. Double Randolph if he gets the ball on the blocks. Trap Gay if he gets the ball in the corner. Make Memphis pay for every minute they play with Allen on the floor.

On the offensive end, I like having Wright out there because Turner isn't going to be an option as a ballhandler. Allen will eat him alive if they try to run offense through him out at the top of the floor, Wright should be the secondary option if they want to run Jrue off some screens. Jrue, on the other hand, has a tremendous size and strength advantage on Conley. Use it to get into the paint to finish and/or dish to the shooters. Nothing new there, though getting to the line a couple times certainly wouldn't hurt.

The Griz are coming off a trouncing at the hands of the Rockets. With their size up front, they're a tough matchup for anyone, especially a team without a spine up front, but they can be beat.

The tip is at 8pm. This is your game thread. This isn't a game I'm expecting the Sixers to win, but if this road trip is going to be anything other than a complete disaster, they're going to have to surprise me a couple times. Tonight is as good a night as any.
by Brian on Dec 26 2012
Tags: Basketball | Memphis Grizzlies | Sixers |