While the Sixers were imploding in the fourth quarter last night, the Rockets were sitting at home, watching, probably chuckling a little bit. If the Sixers thought it was tough keeping OJ Mayo out of the lane, what are they going to do with James Harden?
Here's a proposition bet for you: Who will attempt more free throws tonight, the entire Sixers team, or James Harden? It's probably a toss-up.
Houston's defense is porous, their offense is powered by Harden. Jeremy Lin has been a disappointment against pretty much everyone but the Knicks. Omer Asik continues to do what he does, grab rebounds, clean up slop on the offensive end and protect the paint. As a team, they don't get a whole lot of points from their bigs in the paint. They live off Harden's attacks and take a ton of threes (2nd in attempts, 4th in makes). Their starting lineup is basically Asik clogging up the middle, and four other guys who shoot a bunch of threes with Lin and Harden attacking the hoop when they feel like it.
Without Jrue, this game is a lost cause. No word yet on whether he'll play, but the report from yesterday makes me think he'll be sitting it out. I don't think the Sixers have a prayer of slowing down Houston's offense, their only hope is to attack what is probably the worst defensive backcourt in the league. Lin and Harden are both completely helpless when it comes to stopping...well, anything. Turner needs to get into the lane off the dribble and put pressure on the interior of Houston's defense. It'd be nice if he'd keep his head up for shooters on the outside, but short of that, at least see if you can put Asik in foul trouble. Asik is the only legit defender in their starting lineup, Toney Douglas is their best off the bench, and I really don't want to see Douglas pressuring the ball too much. I don't think anyone on the Sixers is capable of handling it.
Turner (38) and Thad (37) were the only guys to log heavy minutes last night. Turner looked extremely tired in the fourth quarter, which probably doesn't bode well for the second half tonight.
The tip is at 8pm. Use this as your game thread. Hope for a miracle (yes, a miracle to beat a 12-12 team that can't defend to save their lives).
Quick question, what happened with Royce White? He's listed as out indefinitely with an anxiety disorder. I thought he had it under control to some degree.