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Run, Run, Run

Iguodala knifing through the lane for two. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Since not many pundits seem interested in doing a little research to find an area of the game that favors the Sixers in this series, I'll do the work after the jump.

We've gone over all five positions now, pointing out strengths, weaknesses and advantages. I think it's safe to say Orlando has two clear advantages at SG and C. The Sixers have 2 clear advantages at PG and SF, and the last time I checked the voting was heavily in favor of Rashard Lewis over Thad at PF as well. So overall, you have to give the position-by-position edge to Orlando. Let's dig a little deeper, though, and talk about a tangible advantage the Sixers absolutely do have, speed.

Andre Iguodala, Thad Young, Lou Williams, Sammy Dalembert and probably Willie Green as well can all out-run their men. I don't see anyone on Orlando's roster who has a prayer of keeping Iguodala, Thad or Lou out of the lane in the half-court. Of course, venturing into the lane in the half court means running right into Dwight Howard, which is a crapshoot, at best. If the zebras are on your side, it could mean foul problems for Howard. If the whistles are silent it's going to mean a ton of blocked shots and bruised egos. Either way, that has to be Philly's game when they're forced to slow down. The overall key, though, is to avoid getting into that situation.

At every available opportunity, the Sixers need to push the ball up the floor. Run on misses, run on makes, run on turnovers. Just run. Thad needs to force Lewis up and down the court at top speed, and I have no doubt he will. Even when you don't have the numbers, get the ball up the floor and get the ball into the hands of one of your playmakers so he can get into the paint before Howard is entrenched. Sammy needs to run as well, keep the pressure on Howard to hustle back on defense on every possession.

If we're talking about traditional running opportunties, Orlando was middle-of-the-pack in taking care of the ball, but their three best players, Howard (3.0 TOV/G), Hedo (2.6 TOV/G) and Lewis (2.0 TOV/G), all cough the ball up at high rates. Sammy and Ratliff are going to have their hands full with Howard, and as we said before, Orlando doesn't really slashers other than Hedo, so I don't know how many breaks will be sprung off blocked shots.

I was checking in on Orlando Magic Daily earlier and someone mentioned a big lineup for Orlando of Alston, Hedo, Lewis, Gortat, Howard. Personally, I'd love it if they went with that lineup and DiLeo countered with Dalembert, Speights, Thad, Iggy and Miller. Speights vs. Gortat is a much better matchup for us than Green vs. Lee. If we do wind up seeing these lineups on the floor, expect a jailbreak for the Sixers with Speights filling the lane. You could even go Williams, Iggy, Thad, Speights and Dalembert for a complete track meet.

Overall, the Sixers need to push the ball up the floor to play to their athletic advantages. I know I'm personally looking forward to the one man break: Iggy grabs a board, Iggy dribbles 90 feet through traffic, Iggy delivers a facial to a helpless defender.