Sixers vs. Hawks: Game Preview

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Atlanta where the playas play. And we ride on them things like every day. Big beats, hit streets, see gangsta's roaming, and parties dont stop til' eight in the morning.

The Sixers are in Hotlanta to square off against the Hawks in a pivotal battle for East Coast supremacy.

The Sixers are fresh off a nutty home win over the Rockets - an improbable victory that saw 2014 Three-Point Champion, James Anderson, yes, that James Anderson , drop a career-high 36 points.

Not to be outdone, Tony Wroten notched a triple double in his first career start. Mr. Lowe, why don't you take this one?

Like I said on Twitter the other day, I'm convinced that Brett Brown could pluck twelve guys off of Market Street and lead them to thirty wins. Hell, Brett Brown could probably lead the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to fifteen wins as long as they came to camp in shape. Yet think of the hysteria and uproar that Hinkie created this past summer with his deliberate coaching search.

"Is Hinkie ever gonna come out from his lair and hire a coach?" asked the sports talk show host.

"They're embarrassing themselves," cried the village idiot.

What a foreign concept: Interviewing a bunch of coaches. Taking your time. Choosing the right candidate. Was Hinkie raised by wolves or something? This is the NBA. I demand that my team choose a coach before summer solstice. I need a full three months to complain about the hire after all.

Legends of the Hidden Small Sample Size, et al, but Brett Brown has been terrific. Jake recently detailed Brown's magic after timeouts, and his ability to maximize his team's strengths (speed, dictating tempo, etc) has been remarkable. In the waning moments of regulation Wednesday, Brown decided to defend Dwight Howard straight-up. Then, late in overtime, Brown sent Thad Young to double from the blind side. (Thad picked Howard and secured the win). That's a smart coach thinking three moves ahead.

To quote the Italian Philosopher, Kobe Bryant, "These young guys are playing checkers; I'm out there playing chess."

Perhaps no team in recent years has had a lower ceiling than the Hawks. Atlanta has locked up #4 and #5 seeds only to roll over against the juggernauts of the Eastern Conference. The Hawks are what the Ed Stefanski Sixers strived to be: an above average team and playoff staple, but who have as much chance of winning a championship as you and I. The Hawks are "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. Nice enough, sure, but no one takes you seriously.

No above-average team gets blasted quite like the Hawks. Once every two weeks, Atlanta seems to lose like 107-74 and no one bats an eye. (The Sixers steamrolled the Hawks on LB Meet-Up Night last season. Derek had the recap).

The Hawks traded away shooting guard, Joe Johnson, before last season, but not before giving him one of the most egregious contracts in sports history. Even Ruben Amaro was like, "Dude, this is probably a bit much."

But that trade was a step in the right direction, and this year's Hawks squad is actually pretty likeable*. They still have pros pro, Al Horford. They employ one of my favorite prospects, Dennis Schroeder, and have a whole heap of former Sixers like Elton Brand, Kyle Korver, Lou Williams, Shelvin Mack, Alan Henderson, and Andrew Lang.

*Atlanta does however roster noted Sixers killer, Cartier Martin, who sits atop the Mount Rushmore of Philly Killers along with Brad Wilkerson, Brian McCann, and Mark Lemke.*

Tip-off is at 7:30.

Opposing Team Jersey I Would Buy

Look at this gorgeous navy blue Pete Maravich jersey. LB commentator and Golden Girls aficionado, Nimphius, and I must've watched The Pistol a dozen times growing up.

Da Bad Guys

Peachtree Hoops. Speaking of, the Hawks are hosting a Peachtree Hoops Appreciation Night. Where's the love, Michael Preston? I know you're reading this, Michael. I KNOW YOU'RE READING THIS.

Prediction

109-107 Sixers.

*UPDATE*

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