This time last year I was desperately hoping the Sixers would pull out all the stops to finish at .500. I thought an even record would mean something, what I don't know, but something. This year, I'm going in exactly the opposite direction. Thoughts, keys, stats, in-game discussion after the jump.
If you're interested in looking for reasons to win this game, you have the allure of a .500 season and the opportunity to be only the second team to beat Cleveland on their home floor. The first doesn't mean squat to a team which everyone had pegged for a win total in the mid-forties, at least before the season began. The second carries even less meaning, considering the LeBrons will be without LeBron, Mo Williams, Ilgauskus and Joe Smith. As far as the playoffs are concerned, well, a win gives you an outside chance at the #6 seed, but as I discussed at length earlier today, it may be advantageous to finish 7th.
Tony DiLeo needs to take a hard look in the mirror, check out the health of his team, and go into this game with one goal: 30 minutes of playing time for Thad with both Andres, and not a second more for any of the three. If that isn't enough to beat this group of Cavaliers, then so be it. Don't lose on purpose, but make damned sure that you come out of this game healthy, and as well-rested as possible.
Here's a quick look at the stats, followed by my one key:
Those stats would lead you to believe the Sixers are pretty bad, the Cavs are pretty good, which is obviously the case.
My single key to the game is this: If the team's field goal percentage is higher than the total field goal attempts for Willie Green and Lou Williams, the Sixers will win. So 45 shots between those two, and a 46% team FG%, it's a win. 50 shots between the two of them, and 42% from the floor for the team, it's a loss.
The tip is at 8pm, I'll be right here, so join me for the last regular season game in the comments.