The Sixers suffered their first bad loss of the season on Wednesday night at the hands of the Nets. Tonight, they get a chance to get their feet back under them against another bad team (with injuries), but they can't make the same mistake they made against NJ. They need to come out with a sense of urgency and maintain it for 48 minutes.
Charlotte will be without
BJ Byron Mullens, Augustin, Maggette and Gerald Henderson. The Sixers will definitely be without Hawes, no definitive word on Vucevic, yet.
With Augustin out, Kemba Walker is going to have the ball in his hands quite a bit. This is good news for the Sixers. Walker has been one of the worst offensive players in the league so far this season, and he's using a ton of possessions (25.8% usage). Augustin and Henderson were really the only Bobcats having a good season, and they'll both be out tonight.
Two things to keep an eye on: (1) Boris Diaw. I don't care how fat he's gotten, this guy absolutely murders the Sixers. He'll play the four or the five for them, he'll shoot threes and he'll pick them apart with his passing. I think the best guy to match up with him is probably Thad, but I'd even put Iguodala on him if he gets it going. (2) Bismack Biyombo. Not really because I'm worried about his production, more because I'm excited to see him play. His offensive game is a raw as feared heading into the draft, and his defensive game is as explosive as advertised.
If Walker guards Jrue, that's a big mismatch and it would be nice to see the Sixers attack it. Give Jrue a couple of touches in the post in the first quarter, at least. Matt Carroll will probably be in the starting lineup, so Jodie again just needs to stick with his man on the perimeter and make sure he doesn't get any open looks.
It doesn't matter how much of a mismatch this looks like on paper, the Sixers can and will lose it if they think they can just show up and win. When they don't put the effort out there on the defensive end, when they don't run their plays and make the extra pass on the offensive end, they're no better than a hobbled Bobcat team.
The tip is at 7pm. Game thread will land around 5.