|Charles Barkley during halftime of tonight's game: "The Sixers won't win a game in this series." Any wonder how Charles has lost millions gambling in Vegas? After the jump we'll look at the rotations and talk about the perfect defensive game plan, the Sixers' secret weapon and the epic comeback that put our Sixers in the driver's seat of this first-round series.|
|Video of Andre Iguodala's game-winner against the Orlando Magic tonight.|
|I don't like to say I told you so, but Dwight Howard finished with 31 points, 16 boards and 2 blocks. The Sixers won. Play him one-on-one, limit open threes, and this team is very, very beatable, no matter what Howard does..|
|We've already talked about the matchups, the overall team strengths and weaknesses. Now it's time to talk about less quantifiable portions of the game and what needs to happen, in broad terms, for the Sixers to end tonight up 1-0 in the series.|
|It's time to put my predictions on the record. Check them out after the jump, and leave your own as well.|
|59-23. That's an impressive record. Daunting, even. I mean, 60 win seasons don't come along very often and the Magic were oh so close. Just imagine if they hadn't lost to the Knicks at home last Friday. That number, 59, along with several others is what so many people are hanging their hats on as we head into game one. The only problem is, the more relevant win total for Orlando is 23.|
Latest comment: from BrianActually, they played well against cleveland. ...
|Pat Riley was always famous for trimming his rotations down to eight men for the playoffs. During the season, he'd dig deeper into his roster, but once the games started counting, he'd divvy up the available minutes among his starters and his three best reserves. I'm very curious to see what Coach DiLeo does with his own substitution patterns in the first round. After the jump we'll take a look at how he handed out minutes in the more important games during the regular season.|
|Since not many pundits seem interested in doing a little research to find an area of the game that favors the Sixers in this series, I'll do the work after the jump.|
|The stats pretty much speak for themselves. Orlando shoots about 26 three-pointers per game, win or lose. In their wins, they shoot over 40.5% from deep, in their losses, 31.5%. This is why every single talking head (outside of Avery Johnson) has picked the Magic to win the series, this is also why I believe they are coming into the playoffs extremely vulnerable. Their reliance on the three is a flaw in the construction of their roster, not a brilliant coaching move by the lesser Van Gundy, and I think it will be why the Sixers can and will make a series out of this first round matchup.|
Latest comment: from BryonBut leaking out alone does not force the pace. Securing possessions leads to opportunity to dictate pace....
|Let's not kid ourselves, you can't even call this one a matchup. After the jump we'll take a look at the stats and try to figure out how Sammy can at least limit the damage Dwight Howard inflicts on the Sixers.|
|Two of the "new-breed" power forwards in the league, or two small forwards playing out of position? Traditionalists would tell you that playing guys like this at power forward can work in the regular season, but when the game gets slowed down in the playoffs, it's going to hurt you. Well, when both teams run a "small" lineup out there, so I guess from a personnel package standpoint, they cancel each other out. Will they cancel each other out in production as well?|
|Part three of the playoff matchup series features Andre Iguodala vs. Hedo Turkoglu. Game on the line, these are the guys who will have the ball in their hands. I'll break it down for you after the jump.|
|Part two of my matchup breakdown series will feature the shooting guards. Your starters, Willie Green and Courtney Lee.|
|Well, here we are again. The Sixers backed their way into the playoffs, needing overtime to beat a decimated Cleveland team to secure the number six seed. Their prize, a first-round matchup with the Orlando Magic. It's time to break this one down, we'll start with the point guards and get to the rest of the positions between now and the first game.|
Latest comment: from Joe9 people-ish were pretty active. That isn't bad. I expected worse....
|Kate Fagan posted the playoff schedule a few minutes ago. Game one will be Sunday at 5:30 on TNT. Check after the jump for the rest.|