The 76ers host the Golden State Warriors tonight in what very well may be a fun track meet.
Both teams like to get up and down the floor and both teams are not afraid to launch from long range. For the third straight game the Sixers will face one of the league’s top point guards in Stephen Curry. The Sixers (3-0) had success in containing John Wall and Derrick Rose the previous two games and will have to do the same in order to get off to their best start since the 2000-2001 season, when they started out 10-0.
Here’s a look at some keys for the Sixers tonight.
- Get out on the wings defensively when the Warriors are running with the ball. Shooting guard Klay Thompson has turned into one of the premier shooters in the league. This season he has made 65 percent of his shots from the floor (28-for-43) and nailed nine of his 17 three-point attempts. Curry has already gone 16-of-27 from three-point range in the team’s first three games. He can hit off the dribble, standing still or coming off picks. The Sixers like to pack in their defense to protect the rim and then get out on jump shooters. They may have to sway a little from that theory tonight, specifically on Thompson and Curry.
- Continue to play with high energy. In their first three games the Sixers have come from behind in each one in the fourth quarter. Much of that has to do with their oppositions wearing down a bit late in the game. The Sixers roster is frighteningly young and seemingly filled with boundless energy. They need to wear down the Warriors a little bit, as Golden State doesn’t have a very deep bench.
- Get good bench play. Coach Brett Brown has surprised a bit in the confidence that he’s shown in using his bench. On Saturday against Chicago he had a fourth quarter lineup that included Tony Wroten, Darius Morris, Daniel Orton, Lavoy Allen and Hollis Thompson. And his team was down by nine points. Those five put in some solid minutes until Brown was able to go back to his starters.
- Evan Turner vs. Andre Iguodala. This will be a very interesting matchup. Iguoadala was basically traded a couple of years ago not only to bring in Andrew Bynum, but because if Turner was going to blossom into the type of player the organization thought he was, the roadblock that was Iguodala had to go. Turner is entrenched as the team’s leading scorer now and is a leader on this young team. If he gets into a one-on-one battle with Iguodala, it might not be good for the Sixers. He’ll have to take his points as they come, get to the basket strong and think team first.
- Contain the activity of David Lee. The left-handed forward always seems to be around the ball when it is in the lane and is a constant threat to post 20 points and 10 rebounds. He’ll probably get those numbers against the Sixers, just because of their lack of interior defense. What the Sixers can’t allow is for Lee to keep balls alive on the offensive end, either by rebounding or tipping rebounds. There are a lot of long rebounds with the Warriors due to their long range bombing and Lee is great at reading those long boards.