I'm still on cloud 9 from the big win against the Raptors on Wednesday night, but that isn't preventing me from seeing how important tonight's game is. Who are we playing? The Pacers. The Pacers? Yes, the Pacers. "Sixers at Pacers" isn't exactly a marquee matchup and I'm guessing you couldn't catch a casual fan dead, watching this game on a Friday night. I'm not your casual fan though. Well, I actually am, but I love spending my Friday nights watching my Sixers. Here's why this game is important:
The Raptors win was great, but the Sixers need to be careful not to be as stoked about that win as I am. Wednesday night was the first time all season in which the Sixers resembled the team we all thought they would be. Tonight is their opportunity to build on our third win of the season and start playing like a quality basketball team. Right now the Sixers sit at 3-5, and have been labeled one of the more disappointing teams of the league thus far. Well, starting tonight we can turn things around. Our next six games are very winnable against opponents like the Pacers, Thunder, T'Wolves, Clippers, Warriors and Bobcats. Ironically, only tonight's opponent, the Pacers, have a better record than the Sixers. If we can rattle off six straight wins, or five out of six at the very least, we will be sitting at 9-5 or 8-6 entering a huge home game against the Magic. The Magic beat us on TNT the first time we played and that was with Mr. 30 points-19 rebounds-10 blocks in foul trouble for most of the game, so we definitely need some momentum heading into what I hope is a battle of two good teams.
Tonight we have to come out with a win. If we play like we did in Toronto, we should have no problem. Check out Indy Cornrows for Pacers analysis.
What to look for:
-How many times T.J. Ford blows by Andre Miller.
-If Andre Iguodala can continue to contribute all phases of the game.
-Thaddeus Young to get back on track.
-If Cheeks continues to play Willie the same amount or more minutes than Lou-Will. And if Willie can ever play like he did on Wednesday night again.
-Mo Speights to stay in the rotation and start playing with more confidence.
-Our turnovers and steals.
-If Lou Williams starts to have a better shot selection.
-If Elton is as money as he was against Tornonto.
-If Sam can stay out of foul trouble and look like an all-star center against the Pacers horrendous bigs. Seriously? I hope this doesn't come back to haunt me, but Jeff Foster, Troy Murphy and Rasho Nesterovic? Elton and Sammy could both have big nights.
-How good Danny Granger is. I'll admit, I haven't seen too much of the dude play, but I hear he's very underrated. I can't wait to see how much better he is than Iguodala.
-Andre Miller to not lead our team in shots, or come close.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Prediction: 105-98 Sixers
This is an open thread.