Your Pregame Moment of Zen
The Sixer Outlook
Don't look now, but Philadelphia appears to be on its way to the playoffs. At 13-20, they're just a game out of the 8th spot. Moreover, they've got the 7th best point differential in the conference (it's negative, but still), and they've had a road-heavy(ish) schedule. John Hollinger's latest playoff odds give them a 65% chance of avoiding the lottery, almost twice the odds of their closest contenders, the Paces.
For tonight, Andre Iguodala appears to be out with achilles tendinitis, and Andres Nocioni will take his place. This strikes me as a positive.
As I mentioned in my last preview, Jrue Holiday is a guy I didn't think would be very good. He continues to prove me wrong, improving his efficiency across the board on offense and becoming a standout defender. The excellent Jordan Sams at Liberty Ballers has a great story comparing Holiday to other 20 year old point guards. I recommend heading over there not only to see how Holiday stacks up but also to see how incredible Chris Paul was at the same age. Only Magic Johnson came close to matching CP's offensive efficiency, and he was playing with Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
- Last time these two teams met, it got real ugly real quick. But then again, it was on the road where the Hornets appear to be playing some strange sport unknown to modern society (baseball?) and it happened at like 5 a.m.
- Jodie Meeks' percentages have come down to earth since the beginning of the year. He and Belinelli are still very similar players.
- Mo Speezy continues to struggle/not get very many minutes off the Sixer bench.
- This is Philadelphia's first game of 2011. They were last in action on December 31st, losing a close game to the Lakers in Los Angeles.
- The Sixers' visit to New Orleans marks the end of an eight consecutive games on the road. The Sixers' game Wednesday (January 5th) against Washington will be their first home game since December 17th when they hosted the Lakers.
- Go Hornets.