Open thread: Regular season game 10


The essentials:
Sixers(3-6) vs. Wizards (4-5)
7 p.m.
Verizon Center
CSN

Last year:
December 8: Wizards 113, Sixers 98.
February 14: Wizards 92, Sixers 85.
March 28: Wizards 111, Sixers 108.

Notable Sixers numbers this season (pound the salt):
20th in expected winning percentage (.388).
21st in pace factor (90.2 possessions per game).
27th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (98.7).
6th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (101.9).

Notable Sixers numbers last season
20th in expected winning percentage (.402).
20th in pace factor (89.4 posessions per game).
26th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (105.2).
15th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (108.3).

Key links (drop any others in the comments)
Passion and Pride.
Sixers Shots.
Sixers Journal.
Passion and Pride rambles on Andre Miller.
Wizards Insider: Orlando is good.
Truth About It: Wizards photoshop fun.
SVP Style responds to that strange Washington City Paper reporter.
Passion and Pride blog preview.

Starting lineups:
Sixers
PG: Andre Miller
SG: Willie Greene
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: Reggie Evans
C: Samuel Dalembert

Wizards
PG: Gilbert Arenas
SG: DeShawn Stevenson
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Brendan Haywood

Tonight's lines:
Sixers at Wizards: Wizards by 6.5
Over/Under on Big 3 scoring: 64.9 points.

Tonight's a big night, as Calvin Booth makes his triumphant return to the Verizon Center.

Okay, so maybe this isn't the sexiest game on the schedule, but it definitely offers us an opportunity to keep things going. Philly is 3-6, with with over Charlotte, Chicago, and Portland this year. Andre Iguodala is a nice player, but he's not at his best right now, and Andre Miller is really struggling. On the surface, this looks like a pretty easy win.

When thinking about Philly, one thing that surprised me was that number 6 ranking in defensive efficiency. Maurice Cheeks has lots of problems, but he deserves credit for getting this team to play defense. Philly is fourth in the league in turnover rate, 10th in lowest offensive rebound percentage, and 11th in effective field goal percentage. Iguodala is a tremendous defender who is an assassin in the passing lanes, and Samuel Dalembert is a physical presence inside.

Alas, offensively, this team is a joke. They're turning the ball over on an astounding 20 percent of their possessions, and when you consider who they start, you see why. Reggie Evans is an offensive zero, and Willie Greene is pretty close. Iguodala is basically forced to pound the ball and do everything, which is really, really unfair. Naturally, they sputter when teams trap Iguodala on pick and rolls, because there's no threat of the screener scoring.

The one guy that worries me beyond Iguodala is Louis Williams. He's having a fantastic season thus far, averaging over 20 points/40 with an eFG% of 54. If Philly is smart, they dump Miller and go with Williams, because he gives them their best offensive threat outside of Iguodala. Gilbert's going to need to step up his defensive effort on Williams tonight, and the big guys need to trap him on screen and rolls.

My guess is that tonight's game is going to be an ugly, low-scoring affair. We always have our hands full with Iguodala, and Williams could easily spring for a big game. Other than Kyle Korver, though, there's no real three-point threat, so the old problem of not getting out on shooters won't be as big of a deal tonight. Offensively, I think we need Gilbert at his best, because Philly's either going to have to put the undersized Williams or the slow Miller on him. It would be a good time for Gilbert to pounce.

This is an open game thread, so relive the Calvin Booth memories here.

GO WIZARDS!

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