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GAME 28 vs Philadelphia, Preview & Game Thread

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (12-16)  103.7 ORtg (#23), 104.6 DRtg (# 7),  89.6 (#20)
SACRAMENTO KINGS (11-16)    105.5 ORtg (#18), 109.1 DRtg (#23),  91.9 (#11)

Considering the Kings recently beat the Sixers in Philadelphia, and considering the Kings are tons better at home than on the road, you'd think this were a sure win.

But it's not that simple. Ron Artest kept Andre Iguodala completely out of the game two weeks ago; he can do it again, but after a string of tough defensive challenges (Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce), Ron's in a much less fresh position. His offensive load -- not easily apparent looking at shot attempts, but certainly present with Kevin Martin out and John Salmons getting bottled up a bit lately -- wears as well. If Iguodala's in this game, it's a tighter affair. Andre Miller has shown he can score all over Beno Udrih; Louis Williams has shown the Sacramento second unit's length and size doesn't deter his shot nor playmaking abilities.

Samuel Dalembert's worst game of Philly's recent hot stretch was against Mikki Moore; M.M. just abused Dalembert on cuts and delayed arrivals into the lane off guard penetration. It's a repeatable situation, but counting on 20 from Mikki regularly is fool's gold. Really, you need to hope Brad Miller is able to address the offense much the same way he did in Philadelphia -- by attacking with the shot, with the pass, and with the occasional drive. Reggie Evans isn't a good defender on the whole and should be exploited.

Sacramento should have the edge, but you never know with these things. On the whole, Philadelphia's a better performing team right now. They have some nice road wins. But the Kings have shown a different level of performance at home, even in the losses. Should be a fun game.

Tip's at 7. Go Kings.