Sixers vs. Warriors: The Battle for Wilt

Sixers vs. Warriors: The Battle for Wilt
March 2, 2012, 2:31 pm

What? An 8:00 tip for a Sixers game? Good lord, that must mean we're on
national television! Indeed, Sixers fans could be forgiven for showing
up an hour early for the game tonight out of habit—I may or may not have
done so myself—but it's indeed a late tip for the Sixers tonight, as
NBA analyst and Golden State Hall of Famer Chris Mullin is in the
building to call tonight's Sixers-Warriors game for ESPN.

Of course, this isn't just your average Sixers-Warriors game—as Enrico
already detailed, today is the 50th anniversary of Wilt's historic
100-point game in Hershey, PA in 1962, a single-game scoring record
likely to never be matched and unlikely to ever even be neared again.
(Kobe came the closest wtih his 81 six years ago, in a perfect storm of
otherworldly (and unrepentant) gunner, crappy teammates and
under-skilled defenders that may not happen for at least another 20
years.) As Wilt's performance came while on the Philadelphia Warriors,
the Sixers and Warriors have about equal claim to celebrating Wilt's
achievement as part of their history (either by franchise or geography),
so you could call tonight The Battle for Wilt—and in fact, I will, and
already have.

In less historic, more modern-day terms, tonight is simply a chance for
the Sixers to erase memories of a tough loss last Wednesday against the
Thunder. With the Warriors coming in at 14-18 and missing golden-boy
shooter Stephen Curry (defense-only two guard Dominic McGuire is
starting in his stead), it's entirely possible that clutch
fourth-quarter scoring might be a moot point for the Sixers—and indeed,
the Sixers thumped GSW 107-79 on New Year's Eve in the teams' first
meeting of the season—so Sunday's game against Chicago might be a better
chance for a makeup late-game performance. Still, the Warriors are
always dangerous—they've beaten the Bulls, Heat, Nuggets and Clippers
already this season—so let's not chalk up the W on this one just yet.

Again, 8:00 tip from the WFC. "I think it's a trend late in games that
we struggle," Andre Iguodala said after Wedensday's game in the
understatement of the season. "We've got to get out of that." Solid play
for the first three quarters and we should be able to put off worrying
too much about the fourth quarter for another two days. It's what Wilt would have wanted.

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