Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Collins Expecting Playoff Atmosphere

Collins expects major test from struggling Pacers

Collins Expecting Playoff Atmosphere

INDIANAPOLIS - Doug Collins said at this morning's shootaround that he expects tonight's matchup with the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse to have a playoff feel.

It actually will feel that way much more for the Pacers, who enter the game 27-35 and are in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference but five games behind the Sixers (32-30), and only a game and a half ahead of Charlotte.

So if the Pacers have any realistic chance of catching the Sixers with 20 games left for both teams including tonght, they have to win.

The Sixers meanwhile are more worried about what is in front of them than behind, trailing the very catchable New York Knicks by a game.

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"We have to come out here tonight and take care of business and I am curious to see how the guys react," Collins said.

Collins said it's important to defend the screen and roll realizing how much Pacers point guard Darren Collison torched them in their most recent game. Collison had 21 points, 13 assists and just one turnover in the Pacers 111-103 victory on Jan. 11 at the Wells Fargo Center.

In addition to the screen and roll, the Sixers have to do a better job defending against the three pointer. The Pacers were 8 for 16 in last game, although they will be without Mike Dunleavy who has a broken left thumb. Dunleavy scored 15 of his 20 points in that last game in the first quarter. For the game, he shot 4 of 8 from beyond the arc.

His absence means that the Pacers could be looking to drive to the basket more.

One other stat to note - Indiana has a 39-29 edge in offensive rebounding in winniingntwo of the three this year against the Sixers. So keeping the likes of Roy Hibbert off the offensive glass will be another key. 

The Sixers have won four of their last five road games. Keeping this hot streak won't be easy, especially against a Pacers squad that is the much more desperate team considering their place in the standings.




Each week, Kate will check in from the road and answer fan questions about the Sixers. Click hereto ask Kate a question or e-mail her at kfagan@phillynews.com.

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Marc Narducci Inquirer Columnist
About this blog

Keith Pompey is in his first season covering the Sixers for The Inquirer after covering the Temple men’s basketball team for the past three years and Temple football the past two seasons.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Narducci also has a true passion for South Jersey scholastic sports, which he has covered for many years.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Columnist
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