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Sixers at Hornets open thread 01/26/09

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Nor_medium

21-21
26-14
Enemy: At The Hive
Prediction: 107-100 Sixers
8:00 PM est
TV: CSN
Previous meetings: none
Probable starters:
Andre Miller PG Chris Paul
Willie Green SG Rasual Butler
Andre Iguodala SF Peja Stojakovic
Thaddeus Young PF Julian Wright
Samuel Dalembert C Hilton Armstrong

At first glance, tonight's matchup looks like a tough one. You have Chris Paul. You have a legitimate Western Conference contender, in their place, at which they are 14-5 on the season. You also have some of the best 3-point shooters in the league. We just witnessed what the likes of Tim Thomas, Chris Duhon and Nate Robinson can do to the Sixers from beyond the arch; imagine what Peja, Rasual Butler, James Posey and Mo Peterson can do. But in the words of my boy, Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend."

Sure, the Hornets still have Chris Paul. They're still at home. And they still have their sharpshooters. But tonight they will be without two key pieces--Tyson Chandler and David West will be in street clothes with a sprained ankle and back spasms respectively. Without Chandler and West this game goes from tough, to very a winnable game. For further evidence, just look at what the T'Wolves did to the limping Hornets on Friday.

Just like most other nights, they key to coming out of N'awlins with a win rests on the Sixers' perimeter defense. Stop the three-point barrage of Peja, James Posey and company, and win the game. Don't, and we are probably looking at 21-22. Chris Paul can't beat us by himself. And I hope he doesn't make me eat those words.

Brand will come off the bench once again. I think he will be a little more assertive tonight and should have a field day when he's in there. After all, he will be playing against Sean Marks and Melvin Ely. Cha-Ching! The Sixers' bigs should flourish tonight, as long as Sammy doesn't get too shot happy and take those fadeaway-jump-360-spinning-between-the-legs-hook shots.

One more thing to watch tonight is what Andre Iguodala does in his second to last game to prove himself to the coaches who select the all-star reserves. I'm sure they've all already made up their minds, but all he can do is continue to ball.

With Chandler and West in the lineup it might be a different story, but without them I'm predicting win number 22. A win tonight would give the Sixers a record over .500 for the first time since being 7-6 on November 23rd. Can they get over the hump?

8 p.m. eastern. Be here.