Questions about for the post-break Sixers going into their game tonight
against the Pistons in Detroit. How will they make up for the absence of
Spencer Hawes, expected to be out for another two weeks with his
strained achilles? Will Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner be given more of a
role in the offense, after Collins lost some confidence in both over the
course of the season's first half? Will the team make a move—any
move—at the trade deadline?
All worthwhile questions. But tonight, only one really matters: Can they beat the Pistons and dust this f'ing losing streak?
losses in a row have done a number on our confidence in this team, to
the point where even a game against the 11-24 Pistons in Detroit seems
cause for genuine concern. And to the Pistons' credit, they finished the
first half of the season a whole lot stronger than we did, going 7-4 in
their last 11 games, albeit against significantly crappier competition
than the Sixers' tough last three weeks. The Sixers are still the much
better team, and the two games between the two squads so far this season
has shown as much, but the Ballers need to show that tonight, and start
to turn this season back around.
As is often the case with this team, the player I'll most have my eye on
tonight is Evan Turner. I wanted so badly for ET to have himself a good
outing at the Rising Stars game—to boost his confidence and show to his
coach and himself that he can hang with the best young players in the
game—and he did, putting up a near triple-double and looking like one of
the most skilled players on the court. Coach Collins isn't exactly
going to be blown away by a performance in a defenseless exhibition
game, but hopefully this'll at least show him how much Turner still
wants to be (and has the capability to be) great, and maybe that'll help
persuade him to stop cutting his minutes so damn much.
7:30 tip from the Palace at Auburn Hills. Thunder come to town
Wednesday, which could be another measuring stick game for this team,
but if they can't even beat the lowly Pistons off a nearly week-long
break...well, let's cross the bridge when we don't come to it.