LBJ dropped 40 on the Pacers last night with a bum wrist. If the Sixers go into this game thinking Thad Young is going to check LeBron, tonight's game is not going to be pretty.
Unless the numbers are lying to me, the Sixers are going to get their asses handed to them tonight. Ilgauskus and Varejao are both excellent offensive rebounders. Anthony Parker is shooting 56% from three, Mo Williams 47%, Boobie Gibson 47% and even LeBron has upped his percentage to league average. The only thing the Sixers have going for them is Andre Iguodala's defensive work on LeBron. James hasn't scored 30 against the Sixers since 2007, a span of seven games.
This is exactly the type of game that would make you believe in the Sixers of the past two-and-a-half seasons. They probably wouldn't come away with a win, but they'd make a hell of a game out of it through nothing but hustle and hard work. Iguodala's defensive work on LeBron would make someone else beat them and they'd take advantage of every turnover to get out and run. In short, they'd put up a fight.
The problem is, I just don't know how much fight this squad has in them right now, and what fight there is in that locker room seems to be focused internally.
I'm expecting a blowout. I don't know how else to say it. The Cavs strengths are the Sixers weaknesses, I think Jordan will spend a good portion of the night with Thad or Carney on LeBron, which isn't a good idea. Even if Iguodala does cover LeBron, that means Thad is going to be responsible for checking a guy who's shooting over 47% from three all night long. The over-helping is going to be more costly in this game, and even when they get stops, it's going to be a chore to keep their bigs off the glass.
On offense, we need Lou to break down Mo Williams off the dribble. That's the weakness. Get into the lane, put fouls on their bigs, find Brand for short Js and maybe Carney and Kapono for threes.
I usually try to inject something positive in my previews, but last night's game, the Cavs strengths and the comments coming from this team and especially their coach leave me devoid of optimism.
Key to The Game: Defending the three
If _______________ the Sixers will win: The Cavs turn the ball over 25 times.
This is your game thread. I have family obligations, so I may or may not be here for the game. I'll be watching on DVR if I don't make it home in time, so it's up to you guys to keep the thread alive.