I had the opportunity to watch the second half of the Sixers preseason game against the Raptors last night. While the quality of the feed was very low it still got me very excited for the season. So what I did was went back and watched Game 3 of the Orlando series from last year via iTunes. There were a couple of things that I noticed that got me even more excited to see the Sixers this year.
In the Orlando series they did a lot of standing and watching. That was the way they worked. Give AI9 or Miller the ball and let them create. There was already a noticeable difference in the game last night. Coach Eddie Jordan's Princeton offense had them cutting and screening like we knew that they would. It takes some of the pressure of Lou and Jrue when they initiate the offense. I think it will also lead to even more alley oops which is always fun to watch. I feel like the days of 3 or 4 guys standing on the perimeter are over.
Now I did only catch the second half so I didn't see to much of the starters, however there were a few things that I did notice. The Sixers guards were picking up full court like we expected from Coach Jordan. I think that this will be Jrue Holliday's best chance to get some play time. All reports say that he loves to play defense and it was apparent last night. He gets up in opposing players grills. They held the Raptors to only 41% from the field. They didn't let guys get the basket like Rafer Alston did in the Orlando series.
Jason Kapono - Reggie Evans
Evans played extended minutes with the absences of Turkoglu, Bosh, and Wright. He isn't a scorer and we all knew that. The most impressive part of the matchup was Kapono's +18 while he was on the floor. I also went back and watched a Toronto and Portland game from early last year and if Kapono can come in and drill some of those unconscious threes to give a boost of the bench we will be in good shape. I would take his 51% 3PT% over Reggie's hustle any day.
Overall I cannot wait for the opening tip against the Magic on the 28th. I wouldn't expect Jrue to get a whole lot of time at all until after the All-Star break. I would say that in a perfect world we could have TWO All-Stars if Brand is healthy and Iggy's jump shot is truly improved. I'm also hoping for a break out year from Thad. He was a little shaky in this first game, but I think his upside is just scary. And finally, I hope that Lou can come in and play well. If he doesn't we may have some major problems.
Rob - Sixers City