For your in-post game thoughts.
Thomas B here:
The 76ers (1-5) are winless in two road games. The Knicks (3-2) are 1-1 at home after defeating the Wizards. ESPN is reporting that Andre Iguodala is out for this game. A quick look at the four factors shows the 76ers are 19th in offensive efficiency (104.4), and 16th in defensive efficiency (105.8).
The match up of Brand vs. Stoudemire should be interesting. Brand is playing well (18.6 points per 36, 13.8 reb-r) after two seasons in which he struggled to stay healthy. Brand has also pushed his blocks per game closer to he pre-Sixer years (1.9/per 36). The front line is rounded out by several other shot blockers in Hawes (2.5), Speights (1.2), and–wait he is still playing?–Battie (2.7). I’d like to see Stoudemire not force the action too much but keep pressure on the foul prone 76er front line. It’s the sort of smart balancing act you’d like to see from your star forward when facing this sort of front line.
Iguodala’s injury will likely mean more minutes for Louis Williams and Dru Holiday. Williams is shooting well so far this season (63.4 TS%, 40.9 3fg%). Holiday isn’t shooting as well but his speed and size may create some match up problems for Felton and Douglas. Holiday is turnover prone, so sustained defensive pressure would be helpful. Evan Turner and Andres Nocioni are also options to take Iguodala’s minutes.
The nice thing about the Knicks so far is that they have beaten the teams they should beat. In past years, a game like this was the classic trap game. A team struggling and down a top player limps into MSG. Everything pointed to a Knick victory and yet the Knicks found a way to drop the game. Winning a game like this one would be a significant step away from past practices. Let’s hope we are truly turning a page.