As Sixers fans we've dealt with the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. This team is maddeningly streaky, capable of beating the best and losing to the worst. Not only that, but their performances seem contagious. Hot shooting begets hot shooting. Winning begets winning. And unfortunately, losing begets losing. After the jump we'll talk about what they need to do break their current string of sketchy play.
There's no other way to cut this, the Sacramento Kings are a horrible, horrible basketball team. On offense, the story begins and ends with Kevin Martin. Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes show some promise up front, Andres Nocioni has been decent since arriving from the Bulls, but no one on this team should kill you, outside of Martin.
Personally, I'd like to see Iguodala glued to Martin all game long. His perimeter shooting has been stellar (42.4% from three), but his overall field goal percentage is horrible (42.1%). Martin makes his money at the line. Over the past 5 games he's averaged 14.5 free throw attempts per game, and he shoots 87% from the stripe on the season. Put Iggy on him, on an island, make Martin shoot over him from the perimeter, and let Iggy handle him off the drive, funelling him to Sammy for help under the hoop. That's it. Don't have other guys cheating in to help on the drive, don't have guys reaching for weak fouls. Put your best defender on their only offensive threat, and take your chances.
Nocioni is shooting the lights out from three, so whatever you do, don't double off him. One thing to keep an eye on is Spencer Hawes. He's a center who isn't afraid to extend his range beyond the three-point line. I'd probably run a sort of match-up zone on the two bigs, with Thad picking up Hawes when he's on the perimeter and leave Sammy to deal with Thompson down low.
If Andre Miller is healthy, he should have a field day against Beno Udrih. Sacramento has no one on their roster capable of even slowing Iguodala down on the wing, and I think Thad's going to have a huge advantage on whoever guards him as well.
Sacramento doesn't rebound the ball well, they don't defend, they don't cause turnovers, they don't take care of the ball and they foul like it's nobody's business. This game shouldn't just be a win, it should be a blow out.
As I'm sure you know by now, the Heat beat the Pistons in Detroit, so the Sixers need this win to keep pace with Miami and distance themselves a little from Detroit. Miami is still only 1 game up in the loss column on Philly.
The tip is at 9pm, I'll be here so join me in the comments if you're watching as well.