Preview & Chat: The Philadelphia 76ers

Kurt —  March 9, 2007

The Kobe question. With the roster around him depleted and inconsistent, how long does he continue to show the trust in his teammates as he has all season? How long before he reverts to last season’s Kobe just to win games? I don’t really have an answer for that, but Phil Jackson has said Kobe is frustrated right now and I feel soon things could boil over into him just dominating the ball and the game. At least for a little while.

Kobe and Obama. I didn’t know what to say about Kobe suspension and the general population and media reaction to it, but one of my favorite bloggers, Bethlehem Shoals, did and made some very interesting observations. Shoals brings a different and intelligent perspective to seemingly everything he touches.

Kobe is back tonight. And I would think he’ll be motivated, what with the suspension and the boos he always hears in Philly. And last meeting between these two (Dec. 31) Kobe dropped 35 and shot 75% (eFG%). So it could be a big night for him.

Future Lakers? If you didn’t catch Jonesonthenba’s comment on the draft (and the reaction to it) in the comments of the last post, please do. He’s higher on the UNC kid than I am, but it’s some great stuff.

Oden? We don’t need no stinkin’ Oden. When Allan Iverson was shipped out to the thin air, I imagine a lot of Sixers fans were thinking they were prime for the Oden/Durant sweepstakes. But a funny thing happened on the way to lottery — the Sixers started playing well.

Philly has won 6 of their last 10, five in a row. Right now they would have the sixth pick overall, and they are losing more ping-pong balls every day.

It’s still AI’s team. It is just now that is Andre Iguodala. He is averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds a game the last 10. The good news is he’s not doing it very efficiently, shooting just 43.75% (eFG%) and 27% from three. The book on Iguodala is pretty simple — he’s a beast at the basket but force him to shoot jump shots and he struggles.

The other Sixers to watch. One of the reasons for the spurt of good play from the Sixers is Andre Miller, who is has always been a good floor general but has been shooting better of late. In the last 10 games he is shooting 53.8%, which is about 6% higher than he was for the first 26 games in Philly. To defend him, push him left.

Then there is Kyle Korver, who the Lakers oddly left wide open too much in the last meeting so he scored 29. Korver can drain the three (45% on the season, 49% in the last 10 games) and the Lakers just can’t help off him (and then not rotate fast).