76ers vs. Knicks

Elton1
Elton Brand working on his jumper.

*Check out the Deep Sixer video in the player at the right, it's Eddie Jordan's post-game assessment of last night's win over the Milwaukee Bucks and Lou Williams doing his shooting workout before tonight's game. Also, if you want to follow Deep Sixer on Twitter, click here: Deep Sixer.

Expect a crazy night here at Madison Square Garden: Knicks home opener, Halloween, Saturday night in NYC. All those things. 76ers (1-1) vs. Knicks (0-2).

Game 3 of this 2009-2010 season. What do we know about the Sixers so far? Hmmmm ... not enough. Very little. Still stuck between that blowout loss to the Orlando Magic and a less-than-convincing home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Not as if tonight's game is against an imposing team, either, but the Knicks are dangerous since they shoot threes every other possession and run-and-gun under Mike D'Antoni.

The one thing I thought became clear last night against the Bucks was that the Sixers absolutely need to get out in transition. The half-court offense just isn't clicking yet and if the Sixers are going to pick up some wins while they work on that offense, they need to score at least 20 points on the fastbreak. You could just see last night, when they got the opportunity to run, they appeared much more comfortable. With the basketball, Andre Iguodala is one of the fastest players in the NBA. Chances are good we'll see a crazy up-and-down game tonight. Sixers have to make sure the pace doesn't get carried away, cause we could see the Knicks go off from the three-point line.

Power forward Elton Brand looked much more effective on Friday night than we've seen him so far this season. Not sure how much of that was because the opponent was the Bucks. Tonight shouldn't be too different since the Knicks inside game doesn't actually exist. Brand played his best pre-season game of the season against the Knicks, so I'd look for Brand to score in the 18-22 range again tonight.

Taking a look at the statistics after two games, a few things stand out: 1.) Lou Williams has 8 assists and 1 turnover. I would not have guessed that, not for a second. Looking at the Lou-at-point experiment after two games, you have to think he's done a solid job on the offensive end. I still think he needs to prove he can contain upper-echelon point guards for 35 minutes a game, but an 8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ration is outstanding. (Watch him have like 5 turnovers tonight.) 2.) Jason Kapono is doing exactly what he was brought in to do: play about 22 minutes a game and hit the open three pointer. Right now he's playing 23 minutes a game and is 4 for 7 from the three-point line. You can say, "Oh, well, it's only two games into the season." Not sure, really. My guess is he'll end the season shooting about 45-50 percent from the three-point line. That's not exactly putting myself out there since his career percentage is 45.4 percent entering the season. But that three pointer he hit last night against the Bucks, with about 3 or 4 minutes left, was the back breaker. The Bucks had cut it to a two-possession game and Kapono ended the game with that shot. Sixers haven't had a player who could consistently do that. 3.) Speights is shooting 78.6 percent from the floor. I predict that percentage will drop. (This is sarcasm for anyone unfamiliar with sarcasm in print.) 4.) Willie Green has played only 16 minutes in two games. We knew last season he wasn't a starting two guard in the NBA, but more of a role player. I'm surprised, too, at those limited minutes. I'd expect to see more of Willie tonight -- like 15 minutes total.

--Kate

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