Losing This Would Suuuuuuck: Sixers Play Kyrie-Less Cavs in Cleveland

Losing This Would Suuuuuuck: Sixers Play Kyrie-Less Cavs in Cleveland
November 21, 2012, 1:52 pm
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Free wins are a hard thing to come by on an NBA schedule. The Sixers
probably thought they had one a week ago when they faced the 0-8 Pistons
at home, but that team had been steadily improving and was long overdue
for a breakout effort. No, rather, I'd be surprised if the Sixers had
an easier game on their schedule this year than the one they have
tonight, against a 2-8 Cavaliers team that has lost six straight and
will tonight be without their starting point guard (and primary shot
creator and distributor) Kyrie Irving. If the Sixers can't cash this one
in, that's some bad news right there.

Because things don't get
any easier from here. The Sixers' 7-4 record thusfar this season without
starting center Flancrew Twyglum has been impressive, but it's largely
the result of a soft schedule that's been heavy on home games and light
on tough opponents. The next few weeks are filled with a lot of games
against teams currently hovering around .500, about half of them on the
road, and then two-plus weeks into December, shit gets really real with a
stretch of 10 games out of 11 on the road, including eight in a row
going into next January, with the Phoenix Suns the only thing close to
an "easy" win on the trip. If the Sixers can't stockpile their wins
while they can now, it's going to be an absoulety brutal winter for the
Liberty Ballers.

Of course, the Cavs aren't likely to roll over
and die tonight, exactly. They still have an energetic, aggressive
frontcourt in Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson, which will make
life interesting for a Sixers big rotation that has gotten killed by
offensive rebounding lately. And they have Dion Waiters, the rookie
top-five shooting guard out of Syracuse that has proven capable of
lighting it up on occasion. What they don't have without Kyrie is much
of a creator—Waiters only averages two assists a game, as does backup
point guard Donald Sloan, who has been absolutely miserable this year,
along with the rest of Cleveland's crappy bench. If Jrue and Evan can
get it going tonight, and the wings can hit threes as they did last
night, that should be enough to power the Sixers to a relatively easy
victory.

7:00 tip from Quicken Loans Arena. Just...win this game, guys. OK? Just do that.

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