Tonight the struggling Sixers travel to Boston to face the 14-2 Celtics. At first glance, a struggling seven win team, on the road, against the defending champion Celtics looks like a huge mismatch, and it is, but I have hope.
First off, I'm an overly optimistic Sixers fan that believes they'll turn it around soon and begin living up to expectations. Secondly, I remember what happened last year. The Sixers went into Boston and went toe-to-toe with the champs. They came out with a huge victory, one that ranked third on my top 10 games of the season. There's no reason they can't do it again, especially with Elton Brand on their side. A dramatic win in Boston would be the perfect remedy to the disappointing start to the season. This team can't suck forever right?
Check out CelticsBlog for the other point of view.
Keys to the game:
-The Sixers have to use better judgement on defensive rotations play better perimeter defense. They cannot leave Ray Allen or Paul Pierce to double-team, especially at the end of games. We've already seen it happen with Mike Miller and Rashard Lewis and both made the Sixers pay. Ray Allen is on my fantasy team, but I'd rather not see him drop 25 threes on the Sixers tonight.
-The Andres have to play better. Both players are shooting under 43% on the season. One of them needs to stop trying to show off and committing stupid turnovers. The other needs to not jack up half-court shots with three seconds remaining in the game. (Sorry, I had to do it.) Both guys need to step it up if Philly has a chance.
And here's an interesting little nugget regarding Andre Miller. Andre Miller's field goal percentage sucks. Did you know that Andre Miller has had a worse field goal percentage only once in his career? The season was 2002-2003. A teammate of his was Elton Brand. Coincidence? I'm not sure, but something has to be said, when Andre Miller has his two worst shooting percentages with Elton as his teammate. He shot 40% that season, by the way.
-The bench has to play better, specifically Lou Williams. A field goal percentage of 33% just isn't going to cut it.
-Substitutions. Marreese Speights deserves more minutes. Stop playing Reggie Evans and give his minutes to Speights.
-Half-court offense. Most times the Sixers look confused and discombobulated in the half-court set. The possession usually ends in a horrible, low percentage shot. That's on Cheeks.
-Maybe Willie Green will sit out with indigestion from too much green bean casserole. One can only hope.
Let's go Sixers!
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Prediction: 98-87 Celtics (Going with the anti-jinx tonight)
This is an open thread.