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First Round Matchups: The Centers

Our slashers have to incorporate the pull-up from 5-8 feet negating Howard's block opportunities. We obviously don't shoot jumpers well and when our slashers attack the rim they always seem to want to go all the way (which, sometimes, is beneficial to getting Howard in foul trouble). Howard isn't going to commit a foul everytime. So those pull-up jumpers or floaters could be to our advantage, but our guys just don't seem to take them when the defense allows for it.

If the staff hopefully plays Howard straight up, those two pointers given up instead of three's will be crucial when the 4th quarter rolls around.

Agree, teams with good midrange shooters (like Detroit) can give Orlndo fits. Unnfortunatately, I don't see Iguodala Lou or Thad as players with good pull-ups or midrange games. Only Miller really meets this description.

They will need to secure rebounds to get out on the break. Whoever shoots (Lewis, Hedo) the defender needs to cherry pick to punish the shooter. If they miss, the long rebound needs to turn into a dunk on the other end. that will get into the shooters head and play to the Sixers strengths... But for this to happen all 4 of the other Sixers have to track the rebound. They can't expect Sam to get it. In fact I'd rather someone other than the center gets the board so to better trigger the break.

Tom Moore on Apr 18 at 13:40

Agree that Dalembert has to play Howard 1-on-1 to give the Sixers a chance. If not, too many perimeter guys will be open. Have a feeling Ratliff could end up playing as much as Dalembert in this series, depending on fouls and Dalembert's shoulder. Don't forget Howard only played well (for him) in one of the three regular-season games and was in foul trouble twice.

Practice update: Had a 95-minute film/walk-through. Talked to DiLeo and Green afterward. Nothing much to report, except Green saying he likes the underdog role because "there's no pressure on us" and DiLeo thinks the Sixers' advantage is the fast-break.

I think the goal is to keep Howard off the offensive glass, and making sure that we have to double team him as little as possible. That's all we can realistically expect.

Theo is going to be important in this series. He has been reliable this season when called upon.

The one guy who needs to cut to the hoop for easy baskets is Speights. He is our one big man who is not offensively challenged. I'm looking out for the Lou/Speights combo because Lou is the hardest to stop on a drive. He can draw loads of shooting fouls and hopefully he can find Speights often for easy baskets.

Howards achille's heel is his love for the big block. He works best as a weakside shot blocker, where he can avoid fouling.

The Sixers need to jump into him and concede the miss. If they do this 15X a game they will be certan to draw 5 fouls. That would be worth the misses- some of which could be cleaned up by Sam or others after the shot is blocked.

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