The Big Picture: Back in January of 2009, I took a road trip to see the Bobcats play in DC and Philadelphia on back to back nights. The Philly experience sticks out for two major reasons: First, Larry Brown gave Sean Singletary the start because Singletary -- the third-string PG, and a salary throw-in from Phoenix in the Bell-Diaw-Richardson-Dudley trade -- was born and raised there. And second, the Philly cheer squad pulled a ridiculous stunt that nearly gave me a heart attack.
We were sitting above one of the upper deck's tunnels, about three rows above that railing. During the game, ten to fifteen of these guys and gals came up to our section and started trying to lead a cheer. However, in the middle of it, a large dude in the group started arguing with a tiny young lady. It grew more heated, until he picked her up and threw her over the railing... into the waiting arms of three guys standing by the tunnel's entrance. All part of the show. Hope you were entertained!
This year, the 76ers are struggling, with the worst record in the Eastern Conference. The offense is even more stagnant under Doug Collins than it was under Eddie Jordan, but they've counteracted that with a sort-of-improved defense. They'll probably better their 27-55 record from last year, even though Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, Marreese Speights, and -- most troubling -- Andre Iguodala have all disappointed, mightily.
Musical Interlude: Pink -- "You Make Me Sick"
Key to Victory: Even the night after an overtime game, even on the road, this is a game the Cats should be able to win on pure talent. Last night, the Sixers played in Atlanta, and in their starting lineup, I'd rather have Hawes long term than Mohammed -- though Mohammed is probably playing better so far this season -- and salary aside I might choose Elton Brand over Boris Diaw, but I wouldn't take him over Tyrus Thomas... The point is, Philly doesn't have any clear advantages on Charlotte at any roster spot, and at the wings, Iggy can only guard one of Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson, and the other guy will have to be covered by Turner, Jodie Meeks, Louis Williams, or Thaddeus Young. There are some perfectly fine players there, but none on Crash or Jax's level.
And don't play Dominic McGuire. Please. With whipped cream and cherry on top.
Detail That May Interest .08% of You: Hawes attempted 3 three-pointers in his one season with the Washington Huskies. His second year in the NBA, with Sacramento, he attempted 115.