The OKC game is in the past. It still stings, but the Sixers need to put it out of their minds and get back to work tonight. You can only beat the team directly in front of you and that team is Mark Jackson's Golden State Warriors squad. Focus on that, worry about the good teams when you face them again, you're going to have plenty of chances.
The Warriors present an interesting decision if Steph Curry is able to play. On the perimeter, they feature two guys who score a bunch of points in Monta Ellis and Curry. Ellis scores a bunch of points inefficiently. Curry scores a bunch of points efficiently. The latter hurts you, beats you as a matter of fact. The former typically doesn't. Going by that logic, it would seem like putting Jrue on Curry and Meeks on Monta would be the thing to do, but I'm not so sure that's the case. The biggest issue offensively for the Warriors, who are a very good offensive team, is that Ellis uses so many possessions, and he doesn't use them very well, while much more efficient weapons are left with table scraps. Logic would tell you that if Monta has a tough matchup, he'd step aside and let the better offensive players carry the load, but history tells us that won't happen. Ellis is the kind of guy who will keep shooting, even if he's killing the team. He'll keep using up possessions in search of that elusive hot streak, he'll do whatever he has to do to get his 20+ points. It's Ellis' mindset that dictates the matchup for me. If you put Jodie on him, he's got a much better shot of doing something positive with his 20+ shots. If you put Jrue on him, he's still going to take the 20 shots, he's just not going to do as much with them, and he's probably going to turn the ball over a bunch. The other reason to go with Jrue on Monta is the type of game he plays (isolation dribble-drives). It's playing right into Jrue's strength. Curry is much more dangerous with his jumper, less so off the drive. Of course, you always have the option of sticking Iguodala on Monta and Jrue on Curry, leaving Meeks to deal with Dorrell Wright on the perimeter, which is definitely an option.
Up front, the Sixers are as usual undermanned. David Lee is having a good year and he's a pest on the glass. Usually I'd say something about keeping a body on him here, but I'm sick of wasting my breath. These guys have to realize how embarrassing their work on the defensive glass has been. Show some pride.
Despite Jackson's lip service to defense, the Warriors remain what they've been for quite some time, an offensive team with offensive defensive numbers. The Sixers should break their 100-point drought tonight and GSW should help them get easy hoops in transition. They're the third-worst team in the league at taking care of the ball. The key for the game, beyond the obvious, is to chase their shooters off the three-point line, especially Curry, Brandon Rush (who's shooting over 50% from deep) and Klay Thompson. The mathcup with the highest comedic value is Lou Williams vs. Nate Robinson. It's always fun to watch those guys go at and pretend they're playing one-on-one while ignoring their teammates.
The Warriors are a bad team, treat them as such.
The tip is at 7pm. Game thread will land around 5. Enjoy your Friday, it's Wilt Night tonight at the WFC.