The front end of the 76ers schedule this season is crushed with away games. And the first blast comes this week as the team starts a four-game road trip tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The trip continues at the Dallas Mavericks, at the San Antonio Spurs, at the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Sunday, the Sixers looked effective in a win over the New York Knicks. In that game, the Sixers were without swingman Andre Iguodala, who will also miss tonight's game with tendinitis in his right Achilles. With Iguodala out, the Sixers started a lineup of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andres Nocioni, Elton Brand, and Spencer Hawes. Also, Iguodala's spot on the active roster was taken by Jodie Meeks, who played 16 effective minutes. In addition to Iguodala's absence, the Sixers will likely be without Jason Kapono (personal reasons). Without those guys, both Meeks and rookie Craig Brackins will dress for tonight's game.
Barring a setback, Iguodala will be back in the lineup on Friday night against the Mavericks.
A win against the Knicks, without Iguodala, is little proof as to this team's abilities without its swingman. The Knicks peppered that game with poor possessions, something the Sixers likely won't see tonight against Kevin Durant and the Thunder. There's been a lot of talk about including Iguodala in a trade, but as of right now, it seems the Sixers are not trying to trade Iguodala. There will need to be a change in upper management's thinking before Iguodala gets peddled because right now -- according to a source close to Iguodala -- he has been repeatedly assured that the team is not trying to trade him and does not want to trade him. Obviously, there is a difference between the Sixers trying to trade Iguodala, and a team approaching the Sixers with a great deal. There is no guard against the latter.