|If the Sixers spent their practice yesterday ironing out their pick-and-roll defense, as they should have, tonight their work will be put to the test. Tony Parker was brilliant on Wednesday, but he's clearly a rung or two below Chris Paul on the PG ladder. Paul has been beyond brilliant in his first 18 games with the Clippers, and he has a couple of elite finishers to set up if the Sixers leave any creases open.|
|Another Western Conference powerhouse heads into the WFC tonight. The Spurs, much like the Lakers, have been dreadful on the road, but also like the Lakers, they have a bevy of big men who will test the Sixers weakened front court. Will Philly be able to figure out a way to keep the Spurs bigs off the offensive glass, or at least be able to compensate for the deficit again?|
|Fresh off a successful 3-1 week, the challenges keep coming for the Sixers. Tonight, they'll face a team with more size than they know what to do with, literally, in the Los Angeles Lakers. The coaches had a flight home from Atlanta and an off day to figure out what to do with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, hopefully the guys can go out and execute tonight.|
Latest comment: from MattG76103-89 sixers!!!!!...
|Sporting two of the top five players in the league along with a top-15 big to clean up their sloppy seconds, the Heat are really a team of three. They have a couple guys who play their roles relatively well, but the big two-plus-Bosh are the engine behind a team that's capable of beating anyone when they play as a team, but more likely to get caught up in their individual greatness than team success. The question is how do the Sixers get the Heat superstars into a one-on-one game?|
|Certain teams can try to funnel Derrick Rose to a shotblocker. It works sometimes, other times he just dunks on your shotblocker or puts crazy english on a ball and kisses it off the backboard at a crazy angle. The Sixers, obviously, don't have that option. Their best chance at slowing down Rose is to utilize the strength of their roster, perimeter defenders.|
Latest comment: from KellyDadThen why acknowledge me with your comment after the game then? ...
|Dwight Howard does not want to come to Philadelphia...yet. Howard may be seeking the limelight, or a cushier existence in terms of who he plays with, or lucrative endorsement deals, or national exposure beyond what Orlando provides, or maybe even a ring. Whatever his motivations may be, until he signs a contract elsewhere, the Sixers are in the game. The only thing the Sixers can do to win Howard's favor is to sell themselves as an organization. Hammering the Magic on the floor tonight would be a good first step.|
|The Sixers suffered their first bad loss of the season on Wednesday night at the hands of the Nets. Tonight, they get a chance to get their feet back under them against another bad team (with injuries), but they can't make the same mistake they made against NJ. They need to come out with a sense of urgency and maintain it for 48 minutes.|
Latest comment: from BrianElson played here....
|The Nets are an interesting, definitely pitiful, but interesting collection of players. They've got their superstar, who has played like anything but. They've got a rookie who has far exceeded expectations. They've got a shooter, a rebounder and a euro big man. When you add all these things together, well, they don't equal much of anything at all. Tonight, the Sixers need to pick them apart, piece by piece.|
|Last week could've been better, could've been worse. As long as the Sixers get back to what they did for the first 14 games of the season, it was simply two wins and two losses. As long as they shake off their second half letdown against Miami, or better yet, use it as fuel for a relentless attack on the Wizards tonight, it won't mean a thing. (Check out my latest from SB Nation Philly)|
Latest comment: from BrianI always get Elson mixed up with Johan Petro, another Rod Thorn fave....
|Maybe the streak doesn't have to stop, but it would be nice. The Sixers have played elite basketball over the first 14 games. They've absolutely destroyed a series of bad teams. What they haven't done is win a close game and beat a good team at full strength. Until they do those two things, that little voice in the back of our heads is going to continue to ask, "Have they really improved?" Beating Atlanta tonight won't silence the voice, but it would turn the volume down a bit.|
|In fact, the next three will count. They all count, technically, but when we're talking about national and even local recognition, the Sixers haven't beaten anyone noteworthy. Starting tonight, they'll get the chance to change that.|
Latest comment: from TrayTrue. Anyway, we solved the mystery of the 5-on-5....
|Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone. The Sixers will celebrate in style, hosting the Milwaukee Bucks for a 2pm matinee. Can the Sixers continue their dominance against the league's also-rans? Let's take a look at what they need to do to push their record to 10-3.|
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