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Hmmm, if I had to choose I would probably avoid Lebron. I prefer the Magic. They showed during their last matchup that if they defend the three and bother Howard just enough they can compete with them easily. There previous problems with them were not rotating on defense and not defending the three.

The key would be how well Dalembert handles Howard, and how much patience Mo has. If Howard gets 25-30 points that doesn't kill you if you limit the wide-open threes. If he can leave Sammy on an island and stick w/ the guys on the perimeter I like our chances. I also like Iguodala and Thad on Turkuglu and Lewis.

While it would be great to see how the kids do against LeBron (especially Thad defending him) - if they actually want to win a series- the best bet is- get the 6 seed and hope for the best.

Getting to the 5 seed would be a major accomplishment and would be fun to watch. The thing that would scare me is that the NBA would do everything it could to get LeBron into that second round to play the Celtics.

If I was facing LeBron, I think I'd double him every time he touched the ball, no matter where he is. His supporting cast is not good at all. Make Delonte West beat you. Reggie Evans would be a good choice as the second defender, just throw Reggie at him whenever it's in his hands, make him give it up.

I like your order.

I don't think we would have much of a chance vs. the Pistons. I think 5 games would be probable.

Cavs - I feel like they are underrated even though they have Lebron. Seems impossible. They are the typical one star surrounded by role players. Remember Joe Smith last year? He played pretty well for us. Varejo, Delonte, Devin Brown, Boobie, Big Z, Joe, and Ben all fit the mold of good role players. Many bring good defense and energy. Wally stinks.

Magic - I disagree with leaving Sammy on an island. The Sixers won their most recent game by doubling on the entry pass the entire second half. Sammy gets owned by Dwight. I would press the Magic often and double Howard all day. I'd make Brian Cook, Jameer and Marice Evans beat the 6ers.

I think we match up well with the Magic, but I am not turning down home court.

Max reply to Joe on Mar 18 at 16:44

The Magic would kill the sixers if they doubled down too much on Howard. They would not keep Evans, Nelson, and Cook on the floor together for anything more than a minute here or there. They would have Turkoglu and Lewis spreading the floor with one or more of those players, Garrity, Bogans etc...and howard most of the time.

Yes, Howard would still get 25 and 14 against Sam most nights one on one but they can hang with them giving up points to Howard - the game would get away from the sixers if they allowed three points looks to those players too many times.

I'm with Max on this one. It's one thing to double the pick and roll at the top of the key. When you double hard it's extremely hard to take advantage. Doubling down on the post is going to result in someone being wide open. Against the Magic, that means an open three because that's what they look for. In the post, Dalembert has to guard him one-on-one to have a shot. I don't care if he gets 30 pts and 20 rebounds, that's better than 15 wide-open threes for Turk and Lewis.

I would prefer the Pistons. As you said, the big lineup gives the Sixers a chance against them.
As for playing the Magic, I hope it doesn't happen in the 1st round. The Sixers are not a good team defending the 3. and the Magic live for that. Thaddeus and AI guarding Hedo/Rashard sounds great, but with all the attention Dwight gets, it's gonna rain threes.

The big lineup gives them an advantage over just about every team in the East. If Thad can handle the three, Iguodala is too much for any shooting guard in the East to handle, and the Sixers should look to both guards down on the low blocks with that lineup. The biggest problem, of course, is the zone. No one on the floor can really bust the zone w/ threes, unless Iguodala is really on that night.

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