The 76ers, losers of 12 straight, play the Golden State Warriors tonight.
Realistically (as we all need to be following these Sixers), if they don't win tonight, the losing streak will likely reach 15 games. The Warriors are 7-16, the second-worst team in the Western Conference. The Sixers are 5-18, second-worst team in the Eastern Conference. After tonight's game, the Sixers host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday and play at the Boston Celtics on Friday. So ...
I'd love to offer a prediction on tonight's game, but chances are good that 1.) It would only be seen by about 7 people considering this Halladay news going down and 2.) I have yet to understand exactly what the Sixers are doing from one game to another (or one quarter to another), so any sort of prediction would be meaningless.
Here's some injury news, though: Willie Green, torn MCL in his right knee, participated in shoot around this morning and should be a go tonight. Allen Iverson, stress reaction in right fibula and left knee synovitis (as it's called), also participated in shoot around this morning and will be playing tonight.
More injury news: Lou Williams Tweeted today that he's projecting a Dec. 26 return against the Utah Jazz. That would be quite early from the original timetable, which had him out about 8 weeks from Thanksgiving. Obviously that's not official news, so will inquire about Williams tonight. (Update: Williams wasn't in the locker room and Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said the timetable for Williams' return has not yet been altered.) Center Marreese Speights is back practicing, but the Sixers have not move forward his return date, so expect to see him back in about 10 days to 2 weeks.
Tonight, the Sixers will start Allen Iverson, Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Samuel Dalembert. No Elton Brand in the starting lineup. Brand will come off the bench. On the season, Brand is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. In the last five games, Brand is averaging 14.6 points, 8.4 rebounds a game. We spoke w/ Jordan before this lineup was released, so we didn't ask him why the change. Same for asking Brand about his feelings. A quick look at "why?" would be to go small to match the Warriors, which is somewhat confusing considering Jordan said they should dominate the Warriors in the paint because Golden State has a small front line.
Another quick tid bit from the pre-game press conference. The first question asked (after checking to make sure Iverson was a go ... he is) went like this:
Question (not asked by me): "Do you think you guys have made some progress defensively the last few games? The numbers sort of say so ..."
Jordan's Answer: "I don't know, that's up to you guys, that's not up to me to say about numbers. We're putting effort in and we'll see where it goes. Our guys are doing everything we're asking them to do in practice."
That seems like a "defensive" answer. If you want the breakdown on the Sixers' perimeter defensive numbers, check it out: Inside the Sixers.
The last 5 games the Sixers are allowing 46.0 percent field goal shooting, 46.6 percent three-point shooting, getting outrebounded 150-135, and allowing 100.4 points per game.
This has been a bad, bad, bad month of basketball. Since I obviously read all the blogging and sites (reclinerGM, depressedfan, etc.) and pay attention to the questions I get on Twitter and the e-mails I get in my inbox, I know everyone is wondering when the discussion about Jordan's job security will begin. I haven't asked the question yet, but Tom Moore from Phillyburbs.com asked Ed Stefanski if Jordan's job could be in jeopardy. Stefanski responded: "No. Like I said, from top to bottom, we all have to get better. A win would help tremendously."
(All this info is on Twitter first, so feel free to follow: Deep Sixer.) In the Deep Sixer player below on the right, there's a video of Stephen Curry doing some pre-game shooting.