If a basketball game is played, but everyone's still asleep, does it really happen? Sweet Jesus, this game is early -- 9 o'clock for us West Coastees. Luckily it's a football season so the Sams' family alarm is already set for 8:30 on Sundays so I have time to wake up, shower, and watch Chris Berman "Whoop!" his way to an early retirement.
For those who are awake, this Sixers-Knicks game has the makings of a nice matinee prior the big game between your beloved Eagles and the Sheriff this evening. The big news is Evan Turner is scheduled to make his first career start in place of injured Andre Iguodala, and what better place to make your first start than under the bright lights of New York? Turner will likely match up with fellow rookie Landry Fields most of the game. Fields, drafted in the second round, has been a pleasant surprise for the Knicks, averaging nearly 9 points, 6 rebounds and percentages of 52/46/75. With Iguodala listed as day-to-day and only expected to miss a game or two, this may be Turner's best chance to shine. Up to this point he's been extremely hesitant on offense, and I'd like to see that change in what should be an up-and-down game.
Not known for their defense, the Knicks rank 7th in defensive efficiency through five games. They are 3-2 on the season, and their losses came by a combined nine points against two great teams (Celtics and Blazers). They're last game resulted in a dominating win over the Wizards. But today's game will be the Knicks third in about 65 hours, so keep an eye on their energy coming out of the gates.
Anderson Vajejao dropped 23-12 on 10-10 shooting against the Sixers soft interior defense. Amare – who's started his Knicks career poorly – has to be licking his chops at this match-up.
The Knicks are a good team and the Sixers are a bad team without their best player. The Knicks are also at home. Don't be surprised if this is a blowout.
How will Evan Turner fare in his first start? Can the Sixers find a way to win a game they have no business winning? Is it too early for #MissionBJ?