Skip to content

Sixers Look to Snap Season-Long Losing Streak in Phoenix

Dec 28, 2011, 6:50 PM EDT

After dropping their season opener in Portland, the Philadelphia 76ers look to climb back to .500 against the Suns in Phoenix

1-1 is better than 0-2, you know. As such, it would be good if the
Philadelphia 76ers decided to win tonight in Phoenix, thus leaving the
Celtics as the unlikely last winless team in the Atlantic Division.
Luckly for the Sixers, they’ve had pretty good luck against the Suns
recently, winning both of their contests against the fading Western
Conference team last year. The Suns are also 0-1 so far in ’11-’12,
having dropped their season opener to New Orleans at home on a
heartbreaking game-winning jumper from new Hornet Eric Gordon.

Justin Einhorn of Yahoo! Sports draws an interesting parallel in his game preview
column comparing Philadelphia’s Spencer Hawes to Phoenix’s Robin
Lopez—both highly touted big men who have had some trouble finding
themselves in the league since being drafted a few years back. Both
Hawes and Lopez had breakout games in their teams’ respective season
openers (though both were in losing efforts), and it’ll be interesting
to see which, if either, of the two keeps up the pace in Phoenix
tonight. “He was incredibly committed in the offseason,” Sixers coach
Doug
Collins said of Hawes. “This is a kid who has great confidence in
himself. Spencer came
in great shape. He thrives in the way we play. If Spencer stays healthy
and
sound, he’s going to have a great, great year.”

I’m not sure I share Dougie’s absolute confidence in Spence, but we’re
glad to see signs of the all-around player he’s long been touted as
being. Against a less-than-stingy defense like the Suns’, he should at
least have a chance to show off his skills some more. In addition, look
for Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, who have had some big games against
the Suns in the past, to play more of a role in the Sixers’ offense than
they did on Monday, where they each scored ten but never really took
over the game for any stretch.

9:00 tip from the US Airways center. “If we play with that kind of
effort and competitive nature [as we did in Portland] over the course
of the year, we’re going to be fine,” Hawes said after Monday’s game.
“The stuff that hurt us
tonight is correctable. And I think we’ll get it quickly the more we’re
around
each other.” That I can pretty easily agree with, at least.