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  1. #1
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    Game 45 (1-27-14): Sixers (14-30) vs. Suns (25-18)

    vs.

    Philadelphia 76ers - Phoenix Suns

    Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
    Date: January 27th, 2014
    Time: 7:00 PM EST
    Broadcast: CSN (TV), 97.5 FM (Radio)

    Points per Game Assists per Game Rebounds per Game
    Sixers Turner 18.5 MCW 6.5 Hawes 8.7
    Suns Dragic 19.3 Dragic 6.1 Plumlee 8.7

    The Phoenix Suns started their four-game road trip in dramatic fashion, erasing a big deficit behind a dominant defensive performance in the second half to come away with a win.

    On Monday night, the Suns continue the trip when they face the Philadelphia 76ers, a team on the opposite end of the defensive spectrum.

    Against Cleveland on Sunday, the Suns held the Cavaliers to just six third-quarter points and only 29 in the entire second half in a 99-90 victory. Phoenix trailed by 18 at halftime, but shot 43.6 percent in the second half, while limiting Cleveland to 23.8 percent.

    Markieff Morris scored 27 points and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds for the Suns, who have won three of four following a three-game skid.

    "We are a really hard-nosed team," said Goran Dragic, who added 15 points. "It doesn't matter if we are up or down 20 points, we are still going to battle until the end."

    The comeback was even more impressive because the Suns (25-18) had struggled to put away teams on the road prior to their rally in Cleveland. Phoenix had dropped three straight away from home, though it had been outscored by just 3.0 points per game in those contests.

    "On the road, you have to play defense. If you don't play defense on the road, you have no chance," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said.

    The Suns should be able to get their offense going well before halftime against the 76ers, who are allowing a league-worst 109.5 points per game.

    Oklahoma City became the sixth straight opponent and 10th in 11 games to score at least 100 against Philadelphia (14-30) on Saturday, shooting 52.6 percent from the field in a 103-91 victory.

    Kevin Durant was the second player in as many games to record a triple-double against the 76ers, tallying 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. That came a night after Toronto's Kyle Lowry had 18 points, 13 assists and 10 boards in the Raptors' 104-95 win. No team has allowed an opposing player to record a triple-double in three consecutive contests since the 1985-86 season, when the league began tracking the feat.

    With their defense struggling mightily, the 76ers need their offense to contribute more but that hasn't been the case lately. Philadelphia has averaged 94.4 points and shot 42.4 percent from the field during a 2-9 stretch.

    Leading scorer Evan Turner has missed 19 of 28 from the field in the last two games, while rookie Michael Carter-Williams is shooting 32.6 percent (15 for 46) in his past three.

    Turner was unavailable when these teams met Dec. 28 in Phoenix, missing the game because of a sore knee. Thaddeus Young had 30 for the 76ers, but they were outscored 31-14 in fast-break points in a 115-101 loss.

    That was the second straight win in the series for Phoenix, which has lost three of four in Philadelphia.
    Injury Report:

    Philadelphia:
    Brandon Davies, F: Out (finger)
    Arnett Moultrie, F: Questionable (ankle)
    Jason Richardson, G: Out (knee)
    Nerlens Noel, C: Out (knee)

    Phoenix:
    P.J. Tucker, F: Probable (hand)
    Eric Bledsoe, G: Out (knee)
    Emeka Okafor, C: Out (neck)

  2. #2
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    Have a really bad feeling like we're gonna win tonight. Just a hunch, hope I'm wrong.

  3. #3
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    agreed. they were on the road last night and are without Bledsoe plus theyre not that good anyway despite that record

  4. #4
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    Sixers will lose this one i'm more worried about them possibly winning the Boston game.

  5. #5
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    Looking good so far, until that little run by Turner to end the half. Hopefully we can keep this no defense strategy going in the second half.

    And yeah. That Boston game coming up is huge for the tank. Must lose game haha

  6. #6
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    Phoenix trying to keep us in it with the no defense strategy as well

  7. #7
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    MCW has got to improve his shot dramatically he would be so much more deadly if he had a decent jumper to add to his game. It's clear what area MCW needs to be working on this summer.

  8. #8
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    That's true but I want him focusing on upper body strength. If he goes hard and can fight his way through to the rim, it's curtains for defenses. He can get to the rim at will. But if he could finish at will, man, that is gonna be special. It would be nice for him to get that jump shot tight but that will come over time. Plus he's always working on that. At this point I want him making his strengths stronger.

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    A jumper would be nice, but we need MCW to protect the ball, initiate the offense, and play defense. He's being asked to shoulder the scoring load because we don't have great options right now. If we add a guy like Parker/Wiggins MCW's role shifts from finisher to initiator, a role he is much better suited to fill. Imagine if we had some shooters to space the floor on top of the torrid fast-break pace we play with.

    Once we add a legitimate scoring option I think MCW's scoring will go down, but his efficiency will go way up. He's always going to disrupt on defense, set up his teammates, and rebound. I think we're asking him to play outside his comfort zone a little, and he has handled it like a champ, but I think he needs a Batman to his Robin.

  10. #10
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    ^
    Agreed.

    And to throw it out there. No team has really won anything with a PG being the best player and leading scorer.
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  11. #11
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    What about Isiah and Magic? And 2007 Tony Parker?

    Also worth noting that SGs never really lead teams anywhere either, until MJ and then Kobe came along. The game changes.

    I don't disagree that we'd rather get a Batman than a Robin, but I don't buy the "PG's can't win things" argument.

  12. #12
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    I'm on my phone so I can't look up enough to post too, but were Isiah and Magic really the leading scorers on their teams?

    In my defense I never said never. I should have said rarely. It's rare for a PG to be the Batman on the team.
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  13. #13
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    Magic was leading scorer (reg season and finals) and finals MVP in 1987, same as Isiah in 1990. TP was 1.4 ppg behind TD in the regular season, but was lead scorer by a big amount in the finals and was finals MVP.

    Also Chauncey was finals MVP and almost tied with Rip for lead scorer in reg season and finals - but that team was an anomaly in a bunch of ways.
    Last edited by bholly; 01-28-2014 at 12:25 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bholly View Post
    Magic was leading scorer (reg season and finals) and finals MVP in 1987, same as Isiah in 1990. TP was 1.4 ppg behind TD in the regular season, but was lead scorer by a big amount in the finals and was finals MVP.

    Also Chauncey was finals MVP and almost tied with Rip for lead scorer in reg season and finals - but that team was an anomaly in a bunch of ways.
    Thanks.

    But like I said, should have used rare. It's rare to see a PG really be the Alpha on a champ. Really rare. I rather have MCW be a Beta to a Wiggins/Parker type Alpha.
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  15. #15
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    In order, I think the three things MCW needs to work on are:

    1. Size and strength in general (the finishing will come with more strength because he seems to have good enough touch).

    2. Tightening up his handle. Sometimes he gets a little loose with the ball. It's probably just because he's so tall and long for a pg, but it's not a huge issue. If he could keep the ball on a string a little more he would be the perfect offensive initiator. Not quite like a Rondo, but he's something to shoot for.

    3. The jumper. While not terrible, he is very inconsistent. If he can just get a little more consistency, he would be a great facilitator/secondary scorer if we were able to get a #1 option.

    None of that is easy haha, but I think he's more than capable of improving in all those areas. I have to say though, I was extremely skeptical when we made the pick, but now he's the only reason I watch the games. He's just fun to watch play.

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