Most people would think that this game wouldn't be very exciting and would be an easy W for San Antonio.....Spurs fans know better. Not only did we need a desperation heave from Frenchie to beat them in regulation earlier this season, we've lost 6 of our last 8 in Philly. Keys to the game?
Turnovers are going to be the key to this game. I'm looking at you Frenchie. The decision making has to be solid all game long. Last game the Spurs jumped out to a huge lead in the first half only to piss it away in the second half due to sloppy play and turnovers. This is a young, athletic team who feast on turnovers. I do not want to have to watch an Andre Iguodola and Thaddeus Young dunk party.
Half court defense is also going to be important. Now, I know Tony isn't the best option to defend Andre Miller in the post, but he's going to have to really put forth the effort tonight. If they can make it tough on Miller in the post and keep Iguodola from slashing, this game will be a lot easier.
I also think the battle of the benches will be key. They'll have Young, Lou Williams, and Marreese Speights scoring off the bench for them and I'll bet that Theo Ratliff will play decent minutes as well. Even at his age he can still lock down the paint. Manu and Tony will have to bring their floaters when he's in the game. The Sixers become even more of a running team when their bench is on the floor (especially if Elton Brand returns tonight) so George Hill, Manu, Kurt Thomas, and Bruce Bowen are going to have play steady ball.
Now for some news and notes...Rumor has it that Austin Croshere will meet with Spurs officials (read: Pop and RC) in Philly...that would put Matt Bonner in the 'Trade Bait' pile...Spurs 2nd round pick and D-League assignee Malik Hairston recently scored 43 points and 8 boards in a game for the Austin Toros...This absolutely puts the Spurs in a position to deal Ime Udoka...A combination of Udoka/Bonner/Fabricio Oberto/Jacque Vaughn could bring fruit...Joe Smith perhaps?