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thadpractice.jpgFirst, check out this story from Kate Fagen. This passage is music to my ears:

When the 76ers walked onto their practice court on Sunday morning, they had to laugh.

On 10 spots on the hardwood - five on each end - the Sixers' coaching staff marked X's on the floor using white tape.

"We walked in and laughed," said Kareem Rush, smiling. "We said, 'What is this, elementary school?' "

The Sixers are going back to basics: working on their spacing around power forward Elton Brand.

That is an awesome way to accomplish exactly what we talked about yesterday. Let's hope we see immediate results tonight.

After the jump we'll dive into tonight's match-up with the Utah Jazz.

For my preview of tonight's game, I was all set to focus on who would defend Mehmet Okur. The big Turk is a huge match-up problem for the Sixers, much like Rashard Lewis, because his range extends all the way out beyond the three-point line. Neither Dalembert nor Brand, so far, is adept at guarding bigs that far away from the hoop. Rasheed Wallace will present a similar problem, when they face the Pistons. Unfortunately, Okur had to fly back to Turkey to visit a sick relative and he'll miss the game. This should work to the Sixers advantage, but you hate to see something like that happen.

Also missing from Utah's starting lineup is their stud point guard, Deron Williams. Williams hasn't played a game yet this season due to an ankle injury, which was exacerbated earlier this week when the aforementioned Okur fell on it during practice.

The Sixers will have had 4 days of preparation and rest to get ready to face this lineup:
  • Ronnie Price
  • Ronnie Brewer
  • C.J. Miles
  • Andrei Kirilenko
  • Carlos Boozer
UPDATE: According to this, Williams will be back tonight and Koufos will start at center. This will be Williams' first game of the season, and Koufos' first start of his career, we'll see how many minutes each will last.

Korver may find his way into the starting lineup if Jerry Sloan is feeling nostalgic. The point is, the Jazz have no size whatsoever. The only active size they're going to have on the bench are Kosta Koufos and Kyrylo Fesenko, two seven footers who have comined for 11 minutes and 2 points in the team's first 6 games.

Elton Brand should absolutely own this game. Boozer isn't the type of guy who can shut him down and they aren't going to be able to double with any kind of size. He should have his way with them on the low blocks and hopefully all that practice will pay off.

There are two things I'm really looking forward to from a strategy standpoint:
  1. Who will AK47 guard. He's their perimeter stopper (assuming he isn't guarding Sammy, which is a possibility), so does Sloan see Iguodala as the primary threat on the wing, or Iguodala. C.J. Miles can't handle Thad or Iguodala, so that should be an immediate mismatch the Sixers can go to.
  2. The Korver abuse. How many times did we see Kyle Korver's shooting completely nullified by his counterpart abusing him on the other end of the floor? Korver is going to see time on Thad and Iguodala most likely. Now it's the Sixers' turn to put Korver on an island and make him look like this.
korversissy.jpg
The tip is at 7 p.m. My wrap will be up after the Sixers win.
by Brian on Nov 11 2008
Tags: Basketball | Elton Brand | Jazz | Sixers | Thaddeus Young |