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Now that the regular season is over, it's time for us to take our first look at the upcoming series with the Detroit Pistons. The first post is going to be about something I've been harping on for a while, but it's something that Mo Cheeks really needs to take to heart.

This needs to be the Sixers starting lineup for the first round.
  1. Andre Miller
  2. Andre Iguodala
  3. Thaddeus Young
  4. Reggie Evans
  5. Samuel Dalembert
We've tiptoed around it all year long, but against the Pistons this is absolutely the best chance the Sixers have for several reasons. Number one among those reasons is this guy:

tayshaun0417.jpg
As much as I hate his frail ass, Tayshaun Prince is a defensive stopper. He's got the length and lateral quickness to put Andre Iguodala in shackles. There's no getting around that. If you're in a half-court game (which the Sixers will be forced into for long stretches) Iguodala is going to have a hard time putting up points with Prince on him. The good news is that there's a solution. The solution is the lineup.

With Iguodala at the 2 and Thad at the 3 the Pistons really have no choice in the matter. If they put Prince on Iguodala that means Rip Hamilton has to guard either Thad or Andre Miller. Either one of those guys will absolutely dominate Rip in the post. The Pistons would be forced to do one of two things, either play Prince on Thad or switch around their lineup to get a better defender with more size at the two guard. If they play straight up, the Sixers have a huge mismatch somewhere on the floor.

If you start Willie Green, there is no mismatch. In fact, there's a serious disadvantage on both sides of the floor. I know this starting lineup has gotten the team to the playoffs, but to trot Willie Green out there is virtually guaranteeing a big hole to dig out of in every game.

When you're a young team hoping to knock off a battle-tested group like the Pistons you can't just go with the status quo. You need to shake things up and make the other team react to you. The Warriors did it to Dallas last year, now Mo needs to take his cue from Nellie and force the issue with the Pistons.

by Brian on Apr 17 2008
Tags: Basketball | Pistons | Playoffs | Sixers | Tayshaun Prince |