The game tonight will be televised, both locally (CSN Philly) and nationally (NBA TV), so for many this will be their first chance to watch their favorite NBA'ish team for the 2010-2011 season.
Spencer Hawes will miss the game tonight with the lower back strain he suffered last Wednesday, and the starting lineup remains the same as it was against the Nets: Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Elton Brand.
For all the flip-flopping Doug Collins has done with Thaddeus Young (first calling him out of position at the three, then saying he wanted to play him exclusively at three this preseason, then reverting back to Young at power forward once Hawes went down with injury), Collins has yet to experiment with starting Marreese Speights. Collins first thought about playing Young/Brand as his power forward/center combo, then after the Hawes trade talked about his ability to now go with a more conventional lineup. Now with Hawes out, he's back to small ball. Is he that down on Speights, that Hawes is penciled in as a starter and Speights gets no consideration? Are we reading too much into it? Where will Young play when Hawes returns?
Personally, my main concern is seeing Holiday/Turner/Iguodala develop on the wings. Fill out the remainder of the starting lineup as you wish, this team will lose regardless. If it takes a Hawes' injury to get them on the court together, then so be it. The development of Holiday and Turner is the key, and both could use a solid showing tonight after struggling for most of the preseason thus far, albeit with Turner showing signs of life last game against the Nets (14 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals).
With Brand and Iguodala playing, hopefully tonight won't be the debacle last weeks game was. As offensively inept as the team was last week, what I'll be keying on is how well Holiday, Turner and Iguodala do on the Rondo, Allen and Pierce trio defensively while they're on the court.
LibertyBallers will be on location at the
CoreStates First Union Wachovia Wells Fargo Center, so feel free to follow along. Use this thread as your game thread.