NOTE: Game is on The Comcast Network tonight, not CSN.
1. Containing the Bobcats’ point guards
Charlotte’s not a good team and I do make fun of them on a regular basis, but I’d be lying if I said they didn’t have any talent. The most problematic area for the Sixers tonight will likely be Charlotte’s point guard combination, D.J. Augustin and Kemba Walker. Neither is having a particularly good year – both shoot under 40% from the floor – but both have the ability to get into the lane and create offense for their teammates. The Sixers can pretty much stop the Bobcats offense completely if they can prevent Augustin and Walker from creating anything, as Corey Maggette will likely miss the game due to an injury and is the only player they have capable of creating his own offense effectively. Everyone else is a role player or worse, but can do damage when put in the right position, like Gerald Henderson or Reggie Williams.
2. Getting back to basics
As I detailed in my response to Saturday night’s game against Chicago, the Sixers need to do what they do well in order to win. That means players need to play within their roles and coaches need to put those players in spots where they can succeed. The Sixers need to get the starting five sorted out and in proper roles, with Spencer Hawes‘ return to go along with Evan Turner‘s insertion.
They also need to play hard – the Sixers were caught sleepwalking in the fourth quarter of the last matchup and nearly coughed the game up.
3. Night Shift working overtime
The Charlotte bench is a motley crew, with struggling youngsters and washed-up vets abound. Kemba Walker has skills but has struggled in his first season as detailed above. D.J. White and Byron Mullens are intriguing, if not that good at all. Boris Diaw has talent but hasn’t really put forth any effort this year (and will likely sit out). DeSagana Diop is big and creates laughter through awfully missed free throws. Derrick Brown is a poor man’s Thaddeus Young, in that he’s left-handed and tall and not a good perimeter shooter. Matt Carroll really shouldn’t be in the league. But at least there’s no nepotism there – just a unwarranted, burdensome contract. On the other hand, Cory Higgins…
Meanwhile, the Sixers have one of the best benches in the NBA scoring wise, and with Sam Young‘s addition they have 11 decent or better players on the roster. So the bench advantage should be huge tonight. If it’s not, there will be issues.
Tags: Bobcats Boris Diaw Byron Mullens Corey Maggette Cory Higgins D.J. Augustin D.J. White Derrick Brown DeSagana Diop Evan Turner Gerald Henderson Kemba Walker Matt Carroll Reggie Williams Sam Young Spencer Hawes Thaddeus Young