The second night of a back-to-back typically means a whole lot of trouble for the Sixers (4-9 on second night for the season). Fortunately, the Suns are also on the back-end of a b-to-b, having played in OKC last night, and their record in these situations is just a bad (4-9). Quick preview and a long game thread after the jump.
The Suns have settled in with the most efficient offense and the runner up to least efficient defense in the league. The days of 7 seconds or Shaq are long gone, and they're back to pushing the pace at every opportunity. They're built around Nash and Amare, but they're gotten great contributions from some unheralded guys picked up off the scrapheap (including Sixers throwaway Lou Amundson).
Under normal circumstances, I'd say the short rest favors the Sixers' young legs, but Steve Nash didn't play last night. If he can go in this one, his relatively fresh legs could be a difference maker.
This game really isn't all that hard to boil down. The Suns have the same basic philosophy as the Warriors, only with much better execution. They're going to shoot early and often. They're going to look to push the ball of misses and makes alike. They take, and make, an obscene number of threes. They have scorers and shooters off the bench. Perimeter defense is going to be paramount.
I'd love to make a prediction for you, but I really have no idea. I'm going into this game expecting very little, and looking forward to the (extended, hopefully) play of the first unit. If Nash is out, I see Jrue harassing Dragic into a ton of turnovers.
Keys to The Game: Simple, defend the three. Don't settle for jumpers.
If ___________ the Sixers will win: Steve Nash doesn't play.
This is your game thread, the tip is at 9pm, so a little bit earlier for us East coasters. Join me if you're surprised I wrote this entire post only mentioning Amare one time.