Oh, Eddie Jordan, you delightful tart. Of course the Sixers, 14th in the league in defense last season and 8th the year prior, have fallen all the way to 29th this season. The damned accusations of Jordan's defensive ineptness had to be proven true, didn't they? How else would all of us E.J. fans get our roasted crow served up?
The Sixers are allowing opponents to shoot a shocking 42 percent from three. The Kings take quite a few threes, and hit a damned good share of them, so this looks to be an opportunity for more of that. Meanwhile, the Sixers take few threes, and shoot them pretty poorly, and that has been a problem for the Kings defense, so it looks like we have a big advantage for Sacramento out on the perimeter.
Philadelphia has been awful on the defensive boards, which should allow Jason Thompson, Spencer Hawes and Jon Brockman to get busy. But the Sixers are dominant on the offensive glass (eep!), and the Kings suck in that sector, so fire up some Brockman and K-9 and pray.
Tyreke Evans, should he play, needs to watch his dribble, as the 76ers generate many steals. Beno Udrih is infallible, and need not watch his dribble. Donte Greene always watches his dribble, quite literally, and so the subject shall be changed at this point.
Thaddeus Young vs. Jason Thompson. This should be a beast of an opportunity for Thompson, with Philly's undersized plan of attack (Young is smaller than Greene, and roughly Omri Casspi's size). But Elton Brand (dying but still skilled) and Marreese Speights could provide trouble off the bench, and Young has a versatile offensive game that will require focus and possibly trickery to defend. I think Thompson can do enough damage on the offensive glass to tilt this one, but he's got to be a stud on the other end for the Kings to safely waltz. (You never want to waltz in a dangerous situation!)
The three holiday home games -- Cleveland, L.A., Denver -- had amazing crowds: loud, active, smart. Good ol' day crowds. Will those same fans come out in droves for ... uh, Allen Iverson? Sweet Lou Williams? Easy Elton Brand? I think not. But it could be a good measuring stick for Sacramento's own power as a home draw, what with the undesirable visiting team.
Jon Brockman will break a fan's nose. On accident, of course. Wink, wink.
Kings by 5.
7 PM start. Game Thread Uno at 7, GT Dos at 8, post-gamer at 9:45, recap in a vending machine at the arcade under that roller rink on that street in that town.