You'd like for the Sixers to be able to recover from their most recent three-point massacre slowly, but the schedule makers had different plans. On the heels of the Magic's 15 threes, the Hornets are headed into to town tonight. In case you forgot, the Hornets scorched the Sixers for 14 of their own in New Orleans back in January.
After the jump we'll take a look at the game, point out a few keys and of course, have the in-game discussion.
Looking at the stats, I'm not exactly over-run with positive feelings about this one. Before we even get to the three-point shooting, we have to deal with a big mismatch at the four for the Hornets. West is big enough to muscle Thad around and their pick and roll with West and Paul is going to be tough to defend.
Add to that, Paul's penetration, which Willie Green, Andre Miller, Lou Williams and Royal Ivey are going to have to try to slow down. I'd say Ivey is the only one who has a prayer. On the other side of the floor, Peja can't hang with Iguodala, not even close.
Now, let's get to the three-point shooting. It's getting to the point where I'm rooting for minor wins. For example, if David West scored 40 points and the Hornets punish the Sixers on the inside tonight, I could live with that. The only thing I don't want to see is this game decided by New Orleans' three-point shooting. In other words, I'd like to see what happens if this team makes defending the three a priority. When Paul drives the lane, let the help come from the bigs, rather than from collapsing perimeter players. If West gets the ball in the post, let Thad take his lumps. Switch screens effectively on the perimeter.
I'd just love to see what happens if the Sixers were to rely on their interior defense as a strength, and help out their perimeter defense, rather than the other way around.
I'm going to give you two keys to the game, completely unrelated to the three-point shot, mostly because I'm sick of talking about the three:
- Iguodala needs to score 25+. Peja can't handle him and he needs to recognize that's the biggest mismatch on the floor. When Posey comes in, go right at him, don't shy away. Your team needs a big game from you to have a chance.
- Marreese Speights plays 20+ minutes. The stated reason for Marreese's meager minutes (gotta love alliteration) has been poor match-ups. Namely, fours who spread the floor and can shoot the three. Well, Marreese's size is going to be needed at the four tonight against West. If he only sees 7 minutes of action again, we'll know there's something more to this than match-ups.
The tip is at 7pm, I'll be here, so join me in the comments for our in-game discussion.