5 keys for Sixers tonight

Sixers forward Thaddeus Young. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Somehow the Sixers are going to have to let go of the disappointing performance they feel they gave when facing the San Antonio Spurs on Monday and gear it up for another Western Conference power, the Houston Rockets.

Here’s a look at some keys to tonight’s game for the Sixers.

* Limit the amount of times James Harden gets to the basket: The All-Star guard is a bull when he gets in the lane and can spend practically an entire game at the foul line. He has not been shooting the ball well from the perimeter, and that is where the Sixers need to keep him.

 *Don’t allow any easy looks for Dwight Howard: The game probably doesn’t warrant fouling Howard every time he gets near the basket, enabling him to show off his horrendous foul shooting, but it isn’t a bad idea, especially for the reserve big men, to make sure that when Howard gets the ball in the paint that they play him very physically.

* Rebound the ball: Howard is a monster on the boards, as he has been his whole career, but the Rockets also boast 7-foot center Omer Asik in the starting lineup. The Sixers will have to make sure they keep at least one of those guys in check when it comes to rebounding. There can be no way the Sixers allow offensive rebounding to be a regular occurrence for the Rockets.

* Be active offensively: When the team isn’t able to get out and run, the Sixers need to be active at the offensive end with their cutting and ball movement. Against San Antonio they became a “stuck” team, with little ball movement and too much one-on-one play. If they allow for Howard to stand around the paint most of the game, he’ll be swatting shots all night long.

 *Have a game from Thaddeus Young: The forward has struggled of late, including just seven points on seven shots against San Antonio. When Young is active and getting the ball in the right spots at the offensive end, he can make things happen, which opens up the rest of the floor for others to get their games going. He has to get around 12-to-15 shots, whether it be from offensive rebounds, running the floor or hitting open midrange jumpers.


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