Here's one way to know your season is lost and your team is sunk. The other day I looked at Nets box score and said to myself, "Man, this team could use Reggie Evans." It was obviously a passing thought, but still, in the past month, watching our assortment of soft/slow/ineffective big men has led me to not only pine for Reggie Evans' services, but also briefly view Hawes as the thinnest fat girl, if you know what I mean. All of this is a long way of saying the Nets bigs will probably kill the Sixers tonight. If they don't, their smalls will. If they don't, their bench will. It's not an if, it's a how.
The sad thing is, Brooklyn is nothing more than a pretty good team. Above average on both ends of the floor, but flawed. Starting Reggie Evans is asking for trouble. Brook Lopez remains one of the softest big men you'll ever see. Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson continue to see their efficiency slide as their salaries balloon. Deron Williams has bounced back from a poor start to the season (and absolutely torched the Wizards the other night), but they're the definition of a capped-out mess. I'd expect nothing less of Billy King. If the Sixers had more than two legitimate NBA starters, I'd feel like they could figure out how to beat Brooklyn. Heck, if the could just get legitimate production from both of their legitimate starters they might have an outside shot, but with Jrue impersonating Evan Turner for the past five games, it's a bleak, bleak outlook.
My guess is we'll see Wilkins in the starting lineup again. They'd be too small with Jenkins or Ivey out there. Wilkins on Wallace and Turner on Johnson should work out a little better. I'd like to see the Sixers concentrate on making Deron a playmaker rather than a scorer. Williams hasn't been facilitating as much lately. Avoid switching small-on-small screens unless you absolutely have to. The bigs need to show aggressively on the pick-and-roll and the other big needs to cheat to help on the roller. This should work especially well against the starting lineup, because Reggie Evans has hands like stones, can't finish on the inside, and shoots 49% from the line. Give a foul if he has a dunk, otherwise, just don't let him get o-boards off his own misses. Thad's rebounding needs to be there tonight if they're going to have any chance.
If you're following the tank progress, Phoenix and Detroit are both in action tonight, playing games they'll most-likely lose.
The tip is at 7:30pm. Use this as your game thread, I'll be watching on DVR. Thad played 41 last night, Jrue 39 and Wilkins 37 (really?). If it's close heading into the second half, it won't be by the end. The only way the Sixers win this game is jumping out to a big lead and then holding on.