From 2-5 to an unlikely 4-5 (unlikely after 12 minutes of play in last night's win over the Indiana Pacers.)
Here's the breakdown of the season through nine games: Toronto Raptors (L), New York Knicks (W), Atlanta Hawks (L), Sacramento Kings (W), Miami Heat (L), Orlando Magic (L), Utah Jazz (L), Toronto Raptors (W), Indiana Pacers (W).
Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Standings: Boston Celtics (8-2), New York Knicks (6-3), Toronto Raptors (4-4), 76ers (4-5), New Jersey (3-5).
Last night's win was impressive. Impressive for a few reasons: Because the Sixers relied on their second unit, and a handful of guys -- Royal Ivey, Reggie Evans, Kareem Rush, Willie Green -- who have been on the back burner (not as much Willie) for much of the season. Because the Sixers had enough energy not only to come back from a 26-point deficit, but enough to take, and hold, the lead. Because neither Elton Brand (14 points) nor Andre Iguodala (10 points) played well.
Tonight's game: Sixers (4-5) vs.Oklahoma City Thunder (1-8).
Sixers Starters: Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembert.
Sixers Inactive: Theo Ratliff.
Thunder Starters: Nick Collison, Jeff Green, Earl Watson, Robert Swift, and Kevin Durant.
The Thunder's only win of the season came on Nov. 2 against Minnesota (88-85). The Timberwolves are the Sixers next opponent.
Here's what I think needs to happen to night for the Sixers to win:
No. That was a joke. Although I do believe they absolutely, 100% should win this game. And the standards that hold true for an average NBA team should not hold true tonight. For example, I believe the Sixers could finish the night with 17 turnovers and shoot 42% from the field and still win this game. I don't think that would help in future games. I think it's important they play well, get an lead early, and finish the game strong.
A couple of other things: I think we'll see Marreese Speight more tonight. He scored 12 points at Toronto, then only played 1 minute, 20 seconds against the Pacers. I think he'll get a lot of burn (great term) tonight.
I don't believe we'll see Andre Miller shoot as much as he has been. I think he'll take this game to get his pass on. Currently, he's taking the most shots (133) of anyone on the team. He knows it won't continue this way. He has said as much. I could be wrong -- it's happened once before -- but look for Miller to shoot between 7-10 shots tonight and distribute the ball more.
The Sixers should win tonight and even their record.