NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors @ Philadelphia 76ers Preview
Golden State’s season is already essentially over with in all likelihood, though we know that Head Coach Mark Jackson isn’t going to let his team just give up on this East Coast swing. The team came out of the blocks in the second half of the year on fire, upsetting the Atlanta Hawks on their home court just a day after getting shellacked by the Indiana Pacers. This is a tough stretch with a third game in a third city in just four days for the Warriors, especially with the way that they play the game. Their offense is going to have to step it up, though. The Warriors had scored at least 103 points in their final three games before the All-Star Break, but they came out in the second half and scored just 78 and 85 points in their first two games. A foot injury has limited Stephen Curry though, and he hasn’t played any effective minutes in the second half of the year. Keep an eye out to see if he gets back in the fold though, because if he does, he could all of a sudden give a spark to an offense that badly needs one right now in spite of its up tempo style.
Philadelphia is going to be in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, almost without a shadow of a doubt, but there has to be some concern that it isn’t going to be able to hold off the New York Knicks atop the division. Even the Boston Celtics could go on a run, and all of a sudden, we might be talking about the Sixers having to go on the road against the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs instead of taking on a team like Atlanta or the Orlando Magic with home court advantage in the first round. A loss in a physical game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at home on Wednesday night wasn’t what the doctor ordered for the start of the second half of the season, especially after the team closed out the first half on a five-game skid in which the offense didn’t score more than 91 points in any of its games. Finding scorers is problematic sometimes for the Sixers. Andre Iguodala, their team leader, isn’t the typical leading man for a team. He isn’t a big time scorer, but he finds ways to do just about everything needed for his team to win. This is a squad that needs an assassin of a shooter, and if that happens, look out! For now though, we definitely have our doubts.
The Final Word: Do keep an eye on Curry for Friday night. If he is back in the fold, we love playing the Warriors in this one. They should get back to their scoring ways relatively quickly, especially since they would now have three legitimate scorers in the starting lineup again… and that’s three more than the Sixers really have.
Golden State Warriors @ Philadelphia 76ers Free Pick: Golden State Warriors