This edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” – Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews key upcoming 76ers games – features tonight’s opponent, the Steph Curry led Golden State Warriors who all of “experts” believe are ready for a breakout season.
After the jump, I’ll look a Fo’ key items for tonight’s game. Additionally, we’ll get a little more insight into the Warriors team the Sixers face tonight from our man Jorge Contreras at baysportsreport.com as Jorge will answer Fo’ questions on the Warriors from us here at Philadunkia.
Here are Fo’ key items I will be watching for tonight from the Sixers end…
1) Attendance at the WFC: The tanking 76ers have generated a nice buzz around town, online and on sports radio, so I wonder if the fans will turn up to watch Brett Brown & Co. live? Curry and GSW are an exciting squad to watch, thus I would believe ticket sales for this game were probably decent before the 2013-14 season started. The momentum of the home team starting 3-0 and playing out of their minds, should inspire brisk walk up sales and hopefully sell the place out.
2) MCW in 1-on-1 Defense: Carter-Williams did a very nice job guarding Derrick Rose on Saturday night and I’ll be curious to see if the rookie can stick with the very quick Steph Curry and his watery jump shot. I’m not looking for MCW to shut Curry down, just keep him under the 30-point mark.
3) Who’s Got David Lee: Lee is a double-double beast and I doubt any of the Sixers bigs will be able to slow him down. Unfortunately that likely means I will find myself yelling, “Who’s Got David Lee?” frequently tonight as Lee racks up a 30 & 15 outing. If the Sixers are to hit 4-0, a Sixer big will have to step up and provide some resistance vs. Lee.
4) The Scoreboard: Free Big Macs will not be an issue for the fans down at the WFC as the Sixers should blow by the 100 point mark with ease tonight. Both of these teams like to get out on the fast break, shoot threes and drive the ball to the tin in the half-court, so tonight’s scoreboard will look like a pinball machine. The GSW are averaging 112.6 ppg and the Sixers 110.
Q&A with Jorge Contreras at baysportsreport.com…
Philadunkia: The “experts” have put out lofty predictions for GSW this year. How do you see this 2013-14 season playing out for the Warriors?
Jorge Contreras at baysportsreport.com: I think that the Warriors will be battling it out with the Los Angeles Clippers for the top seed in the Pacific Division. If all goes to plan, the Warriors should be at minimum a top 4 seed by the end of the season. So far this year the Warriors have blown out two decent teams and have gotten destroyed themselves against the Clippers. We all know that the Warriors are nearly unstoppable at the Oracle Arena so it will be interesting to see how they adapt on their first road trip of the season. Many thought tonight’s game against the 76ers would be a cake walk win, but the 76ers have showed that they are a team to be reckoned with this season.
If the Warriors can win road games like tonight, they should be fine for the season. The Warriors have six legit starters on their team this year with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes. If Curry and Bogut can stay healthy this season we should expect a deep playoff run this year. The biggest question mark this season is how the Warriors bench will play without Jarret Jack and Carl Landry. Expect Mark Jackson to experiment with Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes as the 6th man so that they have a legitimate scoring option off the bench. This is the most hyped Warriors team in decades so it will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure from Bay Area fans.
Philadunkia: In NBA circles a huge deal is being made over the loss of asst. coach Mike Malone (Now HC in Sacto). What kind of impact do you think his departure will have on Mark Jackson and the team?
Jorge Contreras at baysportsreport.com: The loss of Mike Malone has been way overblown. Yes, Malone was the guy who was making a lot of the calls but that is the way Mark Jackson coaches. Jackson prefers to delegate a lot of the duties while he motivates his men on game day. I think there was a growing rift between Jackson and Malone that has grown even more now that Malone is coaching in Sacramento. Saturday night’s win over the Kings was a kind of statement game from Mark Jackson and the Warriors coaching staff. Jackson has preached toughness and has prioritized defense, and that will not change without Malone.
Philadunkia: Obviously David Lee can cram the stat sheet, but scouts kill his defensive abilities. In your opinion, is Lee as big of a liability on that end of the floor as NBA front office types claim?
Jorge Contreras at baysportsreport.com: David Lee immensely improved his defense last year. For big portions of games last year, Mark Jackson would use Lee as the center because of the injury to Bogut. While Lee will never be a solid defensive big man, he has made himself into an average defender. What Lee lacks in defensive ability he makes up for it with tenacity. Last season Lee got into the heads of Demarcus Cousins and Roy Hibbert because of the constant pressure he put on them. The presence of a healthy Andrew Bogut has helped Lee on the defensive end this year. I think that Lee has gotten a bad rep from NBA scouts because of his atrocious defensive play with the New York Knicks.
Philadunkia: Andre Iguodala was perhaps the most polarizing 76er in the modern history of the franchise. Where do you stand on ‘Dre so far and what is the popular opinion on him among GSW fans?
Jorge Contreras at baysportsreport.com: Golden State Warriors fans are ecstatic over the addition of Andre Iguodala. The Warriors acquired Iguodala for basically nothing (Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush.) Iguodala is the perfect player for the Warriors because he immediately becomes their best defender and he helps Stephen Curry on the offensive side of the ball by being the point forward. Gone are the days of Klay Thompson guarding Kobe Bryant, James Harden and Kevin Durant. I think that Sixers fans were frustrated with Iguodala because even though he was their best player, he is not a prototypical superstar who scores 30 points per game. Warriors fans appreciate what Iguodala brings to the team because he is the perfect piece to the already stellar lineup. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will always get more press than Iguodala here in the Bay Area so all Iggy has to do is play team ball and shut down defense.
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