1. Tired legs
The Cleveland Cavaliers, without their two best players, are a shell of an NBA team, nearly as talent-lacking and disjointed as the Charlotte Bobcats. That doesn’t mean they can’t give the Sixers more trouble than they need if the Sixers come out flat. And in playing the third game in three days, with flights between each game, the Sixers could easily come out lethargic.
If I were Doug Collins (I’m not, but let’s just assume for a moment), I’d use Lavoy Allen and/or Sam Young as part of the regular rotation tonight. Andre Iguodala has played 74 minutes in the last 2 days. Jrue Holiday has tallied over 60 minutes. Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes have each played 50+. Using the bench, guys who have something to prove and haven’t played much, will pay off against a team that, let’s face it, isn’t that good.
2. Getting the defense in shape
The Cavs have a lot of D-League players and young guys on the roster, who will likely look for their shots in an attempt to get signed this summer. Lester Hudson, for instance, has been scoring in bunches since his call-up, mainly because of the volume of shots he takes. But with a lot of players who haven’t played together, a lack of practice time, and likely low morale (trailing by 50 after three, really?), the Sixers can get their defense back on track after two relatively poor performances, giving up 100+ points in those games.
This also means taking care of the ball on offense a bit better, since a lot of the dropoff has been a result of a few careless turnovers. While 15 is average for an NBA team
3. Just win
The Sixers cannot lose this game and make the playoffs. I’ll refuse to watch the rest of the regular season if they happen to lose – they should stop playing if they lose this game.
Meanwhile, I’m firmly in the “make the playoffs, then overhaul in the offseason” camp. The camp is just me right now, but I’m recruiting. It seems like the front office is willing to do this too, which is a welcome change. Anyway, Sixers-Cavs tonight at 7:00 for those who wish to watch it.