When the Sixers last played in the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center, things were looking down, real down. They had just been swept by the division-rival Knicks in a home-and-home and were sitting at 1-2. Now? Everything is just fine (Well, not really. Andrew Bynum is probably out until January).
But in the sense of how the healthy 76ers are doing at the moment, the team is playing good basketball and things are looking up. That's what a 3-0 road trip will do for your team, especially with young guards and important long-term pieces Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner spearheading the effort.
Enter the Milwaukee Bucks, coming into tonight's game at 3-2. The Bucks sport the league's 14th-ranked offense and 17th-ranked defense, so not too great and not too terrible. They are lead by the backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, who can be described by a few different adjectives: undersized, inefficient, exciting, and explosive are a couple. Those two guys are capable of catching fire at any moment, and also are just as capable of driving their coach, who played the game nothing like either of them, absolutely crazy. Oh yeah, Mike Dunleavy has been excellent so far as well. Good for him.
This is a key game for the Sixers, who tonight start a stretch of 8 out of 9 at home, with plenty of winnable games. There are a couple of areas that the Sixers can exploit on the offensive end, Holiday's size advantage over Jennings being a major one. The game will also feature a match-up of two guys who were traded for each other in Spencer Hawes and Samuel Dalembert, which is always fun. Will Hawes be able to draw Sammy away from the basket?
Sixers 95, Bucks 93. I think it will be close and Holiday/Turner will do just enough to win. Or they couldn't, I don't know. My real question is who the Bucks player is who will take Drew Gooden's place with a random excellent game? I vote for Marquis Daniels.