The day after Thanksgiving, the Pelicans better be prepared to run...a lot. Tonight they'll play in Philadelphia, against a team leading the NBA in pace. Yeah, less than two weeks ago, we whipped the Sixers soundly at our place, but it'd be foolhardy to think we'll be gifted another easy win.
For starters, Michael Carter-Williams will be on the floor and the rookie has posted some outstanding performances. Coming into the season, the book on him was that he couldn't shoot from anywhere. Maybe it's just small size rearing it's head again, but perhaps too many discounted his chances for real improvement following the 2013 Summer League? For instance, the form on his jumper this year has looked quite good.
In just his last two games, he's averaged 26 PPG, 3 AST, 5 REB, 5.5 STL (!!!), 1 BLK and 2 3PTM. Add the fact he's excellent at finding his PnR partner off doubles and Jrue Holiday and crew are going to have more on their plate than at anytime yesterday.
Several other Sixers are having themselves fine seasons as well. Evan Turner has rebounded nicely from the Doug Collins era and is currently on pace for career highs in PPG, FG%, FT% and REB. Thaddeus Young, a notorious under the radar flier, usually plays very well through his defense and efficient scoring in and around the paint area.
However, the Pels could still end up on the fortunate side of things if Spencer Hawes and/or Tony Wroten are unavailable. They both sat out Wednesday's game due to soreness in a left knee and a lower back strain respectively.
Philadelphia is only 6-10 and like us, are currently on a two-game losing streak. Yet, with home victories over the Heat and a come-from-behind win against Rose's Bulls, they've shown the ability to beat anybody in the league at the Wells Fargo Center. Let's hope the Pelicans and Anthony Davis' shot-blocking ways will be up for the task.