Later tonight, the Sixers will look to move their preseason record to a sparkling 4-0. Meaningless? Perhaps. But still, you want your team to play to win every time they take the floor. Winning begets winning, that's my motto. I'll be at the Garden tonight, among all the loyal Knicks fans in their Eddy Curry jerseys. After the jump, a few things I'll be keeping my eye on.
I usually make it to one Sixers game at the Garden every year, and one in the swamp. Tickets were dirt cheap on StubHub, so I figured I'd make the trek early this season. Knicks fans, though rapidly dwindling in numbers, are easily the most delusional fans in the world. I'm not sure if I go for the basketball or the debate about things like why isn't Nate Robinson an All Star. Or my all time favorite from a couple years about how Marbury wasn't playing because the coach (Isiah Thomas) was a racist.
Here's what I'm looking for from the Sixers tonight:
- Rebounding - They have the correct starting lineup out there now. There are no excuses. They should be good for 80% of available defensive rebounds.
- Half-court efficiency - I'm not sure how much time they'll have to spend in the half-court against the Knicks horrible defense, but when they do slow it down, I want to witness the Princeton Offense creating high percentage looks. The quality of the looks is actually more important to me than whether the shot is hit or missed.
- Lou - Lou's numbers have been impressive so far. He looked very good in the practice Saturday. I want to see him in game situations making the right decisions with the balls.
- Defensive poise - This is probably too much to ask against the Knicks and D'Antoni's joke of a system, but I'd like to see the Sixers resist the urge to play sloppy defense. The Knicks are going to look to shoot early, that's fine, just make them take contested shots early in the clock.
- Called plays - To me, Larry Brown is/was the best coach in the NBA at drawing up scoring plays off in-bound plays. I want to see what Eddie Jordan has up his sleeve.
I'm not sure if any of you guys are in NYC (I remember Mike used to live in Brooklyn, but I think he moved), but if anyone's going to the game, let me know. According to the background chatter on the video below, Rodney Carney didn't make the trip and won't be playing tonight. Royal Ivey should be back, however. It'll be interesting to see if Ivey leapfrogs Jrue on the depth chart again. Jrue was off the bench early in Friday's game, but didn't return at any point in the second half.