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GAME 22 at Philadelphia, Preview & Game Thread

Does the nightmare ride on?

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS  9-13   104.2 ORtg (#22), 104.5 DRtg (# 6), 88.7 Pace (#27)
SACRAMENTO KINGS    8-13   105.9 ORtg (#18), 110.0 DRtg (#25), 92.2 Pace (#11)

On Philadelphia:
Good defense, eh? Much was made of Philly's post-Iverson reconstruction; the offense actually got worse when Andre Miller replace A.I. and some combination of Steven Hunter and Shavlik Randolph took up Chris Webber's exiled minutes. But the defense got remarkably better, which says more about Maurice Cheeks and Webber than anything, I'd assume. Samuel Dalembert is overpaid, sure; he can be a defensive beast, however. (Ask Al Jefferson about the five blocks he suffered at the weak-side palm of Sam earlier this week.) Andre Iguodala alterately forces turnovers and bad shots -- he's the rare steals guy who doesn't gamble too often. Miller and the others are decent defenders at worst. The easiest player to attack in crunch time would be Kyle Korver, and he's a better defender than you'd expect.

Of course, with this lush defensive prowess, bad offense must explain the team's total mediocrity. And it does. Iguodala has been a turnover machine. Miller started terribly but has come around; Willie Green was terrible yesterday and will be terrible today, tomorrow, and forever more/forever more. Dalembert and Reggie Evans have offensive games which rely almost solely on putbacks. If you're Sacramento, you let that team shoot all day. Only Korver and Louis Williams can shoot from beyond 15 feet, and really only Iguodala and Williams pose problems period (as long as you aren't leaving Korver wide open the whole fourth quarter). Honestly, Williams is the most frightening weapon if for no other reasons than this team (John Salmons, cough) knows Dala's game and some combo of Salmons and Ron Artest should keep him from his semi-regular explosion.

The game starts shortly, so we'll keep this brief. This is one of those games the Kings can win without being perfect; given the injury scenario, the Kings will never be perfect for four quarters, so this type of opponent is necessary. No better time for a road win!

Go Kings.