The Mavs come in having won their past six games, the longest current streak in the league. The Sixers have taken down four in-a-row, the second longest. By 10pm tonight, one streak will have ended. Let's see if we can point out a few keys to help the Sixers keep theirs going.
I'm a little bit late with this preview, so just a few key points/matchups:
- Jrue vs. Kidd - Jrue can't lose track of Kidd. He's killed him in the past w/ threes. On the other end, Kidd has slowed down, a lot, Jrue needs to get into the lane when he's initiating offense. Blow by Kidd, get into the lane, get to the line.
- Brand vs. Dirk - Unfortunately, Brand probably won't have Dirk guarding him, Chandler will probably cross-match. On the defensive end, though, Brand's goal is to get Dirk to take shots from about 18-20 feet. Dirk is deadly on those shots, but it's still a much better option than letting him catch in the post or spot up from three. In the two-man game he runs with Terry, the best outcome is probably a long two for Terry, next best is a long two from Dirk. You have to give something, just be smart about it. On offense, EB should look to draw Chandler away from the hoop, opening up the paint for drives.
- Tyson Chandler - Chandler has either re-found his game, or he's simply trying this season to get an extension/new deal. Either way, he's been great for Dallas and he's going to be a handful for the Sixers on the glass.
- Terry vs. Lou - The up-and-coming sixth man vs. the veteran. Whoever wins this matchup may very well win the game.
There are so many fun matchups in this game, those are just a few I think could be key. Also keep an eye on Peja from three and Barea coming off the bench. Both of those guys have killed the Sixers in the past.
Prediction: DAL 103, PHI 98
Tip is at 7pm, game thread 90 minutes prior.