Call it luck, call it karma, call it whatever you like. If the reports are true, the Sixers are catching a huge break tonight. Danny Granger, Troy Murphy and Marquis Daniels won't make the flight to Philly.
Apparently, the flu has been making the rounds in the Pacer locker room. If Granger, Murphy and Daniels are out, Indiana will be without its leading scorer and leading rebounder.
The Pacers have played an odd season to this point. Their 9-17 record has them at the bottom of the Central division, but they have some high quality wins. They beat Boston, the Lakers and Houston in Houston.
When Philly traveled to Indy earlier this year, the Sixers mounted a monumental comeback in the second half, outscoring the Pacers 55-35 after the break. I'm sure you remember the game. At the time, I truly thought it was going to be the game that turned the season around. Let's hope they don't dig themselves such a big hole this time.
Two things you need to worry yourself about concerning this game. Number one is rebounding. Last night against the Clippers, the Pacers pulled down 55 rebounds, 13 offensive. They started Jeff Foster and Roy Hibbert in the front court. That's a lot of size for Philly to match up with. If DiLeo goes with the same starting lineup, Thad is going to have to work his ass off to keep those guys off the offensive glass.
The second, as always with Jim O'Brien teams, is the three ball. They were cold as ice from downtown against the Clippers, but you know O'Brien won't be shy about letting them heave threes.
It worries me when everything lines up in the Sixers favor. The Pacers not only played last night, but lost a tough game in overtime. Their starting backcourt (Brandon Rush and Jarret Jack) combined to play 102 minutes. It should be a no-brainer to pressure them non-stop and make them work to get the ball into the front court. The Pacers turned the ball over 23 times in that game, so the pressure D is definitely called for.
As usual, leave your thoughts in the comments during the game. Tip is at 7:30pm.
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