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Preview: Sixers v. Kings. Kind of.

76ers vs Kings coverage

Sactown Royalty

What's up Liberty Ballers and Ball-etts. It's good to be back after my 10 day hiatus. Kind of. I'm not going to lie, it was super refreshing to get away from this depressing franchise for a week and half but alas, I'm back. Big shout out to Michael Bourn for filling in for me, and big shout out to the Sixers for winning a game in my presence. There's no better way to pop your NBA cherry then by going into a hostile environment to watch your awful favorite team face off against one of the best teams in the league only to come out with the silencing victory. The fact that it was also my cousin's first NBA game and he had to witness Celtics collapse against my Sixers made it that much better. It also made for an interesting train ride home. At one point I feared for my life when I heard someone yell, "Kill the Sixers fan!" After the Celtics game I missed the next however many games up until I watched them beat the Blazers on my DVR, so excuse me if I'm a little naïve on what has happened in the past week. All I know is the last two games I watched had the Sixers going into hostile environments and beating the favorite.

That's why tonight's game will be really interesting to me. The Sixers will enter another semi-hostile environment to play the surprisingly good Sacramento Kings. After the Celtics win I'm sure everyone thought it was simply an aberration and the Sixers proved everyone right by losing and losing and losing again. The Celtics game was weird because I have no idea how the Sixers won. I sat there with no computer, no box score, no announcers and if I hadn't looked up at the Jumbotron I would've thought the Sixers were losing by 20 for most of the game. The Blazers game on the other hand, was a different story. From start to finish I felt like the Sixers were the better team. I think we got a little glimpse into the potential the Sixers have, and I have a terrible feeling that the Sixers are poised for another one of those runs where they are just good enough to sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern conference, and also just good enough to ruin their chances of a top-five pick. Let's hope I'm wrong. For now I'm going to hang my hat on the fact that they beat a Blazers team that was decimated by injuries and had no real shotblocking presence. Plus, for some reason the Sixers have had the Blazers number for the past couple years. My theory is, the Blazers offense is solely dependent on Brandon Roy's one-on-one capabilities and Andre Iguodala simply owns Brandon Roy thus shutting down their offense. There I said it. Brandon Roy only wishes he could fit in Andre Iguodala's compression shorts.

If the Sixers team who beat the Blazers shows up for the rest of the year they are going to make the playoffs. I have no doubt about it. Elton Brand played like a man and Allen Iverson looked *gulp* good. Really good. I'd never thought I'd say this but the Allen Iverson/Elton Brand combo might be enough to overcome the great coaching of Eddie Jordan and take most of the pressure off Andre Iguodala, allowing him to be the great facilitator, defender and all-around player that he can be. *slams head against desk, proceeds to kitchen, open silverware drawer, grabs spoon, gouges eyes* Let's hope this is sheer overreaction on my part, but my gut says this is a 35-40 win playoff team. I guess we'll find out in a few hours.

With the way both teams have played this season the Sixers should not go into Sacramento and beat the Kings tonight, but they'll have a chance. It all depends on who guards Tyreke Evans. If we see any combination of Lou Williams, Allen Iverson, Bill Green, Royal Ivey, or Jrue Holiday on Tyreke Evans tonight it's over. If Andre Iguodala takes him the Sixers got a shot. It's as simple as that. Fortunately, I think Eddie Jordan will opt for the former and the Sixers lose.

Don't get me wrong, it was fun to watch the Sixers beat the Celtics, especially because I was there. It was also fun to watch the Sixers dominate the Blazers because my best friend is a Blazers fan, the biggest blog on SB nation is Blazers Edge, and it will silence the Roy over Iguodala crowd for a while. But the ultimate goal is still John Wall. I think I speak for most Sixers fans when I say I've had enough with the one and done. While Iverson and Brand might give the Sixers a nice little boost they're still not championship contenders. End of story.

So tonight's game is interesting on many levels. Are the Sixers good? Are the Sixers bad? John Wall? Playoffs? I don't think all of these questions can be answered tonight, but I think the answers will be much clearer.
Go Sixers. Kind of.

Note: Liberty Ballers does not condone or encourage self-mutilation.

See you Sunday. Wink.

Prediction: Sixers by 8.


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