Feb 18, 2009, 5:30 PM EDT
The Sixers embarked upon another losing streak on Wednesday against the Cavaliers (though they were a couple LeBron daggers away from escaping with the upset), one which we hope will not last quite as long as the last one, but which will quite likely at least be extended to two tonight against the Celtics in Boston. Making an already difficult evening even more trying will be the loss of Allen Iverson, who after getting his left knee drained twice this week, is now officially a DNP for tonight. We hope/pray for AI's quick return, and as of now, he is listed as a probable for tomorrow night's significantly more winnable game against the Clippers at home.
One of the bummers about Iverson's injury is that Coach Jordan doesn't get to continue tinkering with his new small lineup, which saw Iverson and Holiday pair in the backcourt with surprisingly effective results–Iverson's offense is slowly coming around, and Holiday has been an absolute monster on D, holding conscienceless scorers Monta Ellis and Mo Williams to a combined 5-22 shooting over the last two Sixers games. (None too shabby on the other end, either–a career-high nine dimes against Cleveland, with just one turnover).
Facing a sizeable, powerful Boston front line (Garnett/Perkins), it's probable that Jordan will go back to starting Brand and Dalembert together tonight, with 'Dre moving back to the two-guard, although the return of Marreese Speights (14 points in his comeback performance) might see him get thrown into the mix somewhere as well. Expect to see alot of Willie Green tonight, as well. (How I long for the days that I never have to say that combination of words again–get well soon, Sweet Lou).
Ignoring the price tag, I kind of like Elton coming off the bench–dunno if it's the motivation of playing for starter's minutes or just the weaker bench competition, but he's looked much stronger the few times he's been moved to a backup role, shooting a combined 10 for 14 in his last two games. He and Sammy don't mesh particularly well together anyway, and we gain a good deal of speed and fluidity on offense playing them one at a time. (Might be interesting to try starting Elton without Sammy next time around, though–long as we have the luxury of a 6-20 record and the decreased expectations that go with it, may as well throw shit against the wall to see what sticks).
7:00 tip from the Not-Garden.
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