Okay, we're starting this one by typing it by saying that I'm not completely thinking about this preview, but it serves as a distraction from one of my close friend's family members finding out about cancer.
Anyway, moving on... a brief recap of the last game showed me that (a) I apparently view things better than I thought. and that (b) We let Paul Millsap have our way with us. Despite the fact that we knew what Paul was capable of and despite the fact that Derrick Williams was having a tremendous 1st half against him, we still lost. I was honestly not surprised when Randy Foye, our enigma from a couple years ago would come back to haunt us with a heart-wretching three-point dagger against us. Foye for Roy... who would've thought.
BUT enough of that; that was a week ago. We're post All-Star break, and while most of everybody is looking at next year; I would like to be a believer and say that "Hell yeah, we can reel off 32 wins in a row." So having said that, let's look at game against the 76ers. Andrei Kirilenko is expected to start (or at least play) in this one. Let's just go straight to the assuming part; nobody is going to beat the Montenegrin Mauler that is Nikola Pekovic... well, at least that's what we hope. Spencer Hawes is 7'1'' and is an above-average starting center with the skill-set to actually pester Pekovic in the paint. The only thing he can't really do is out-muscle him, and that's what we need him to do.
The true battle is going to happen in the backcourt. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's going to be rising all-star Jrue Holiday against
Pistol Pe-, I mean Steve Na-, I mean "The after-image of Pistol Pete but also comparable to Canada Steve" Ricky Rubio. Holiday's been having a crazy year, averaging 19 points and 9 assists, and pretty much is the main cause for a Sixers team to forget about that trade that gave them their own knee problems. With Thaddeus Young still out nursing an injury, look for the T-Wolves to finally exploit some sort of weakness by using a smaller line-up to attempt to spread the ball around more.
In terms of bench, hands down we have to have some sort of synergy going into this game. With Gelebale in the second unit (assuming he's going to be in the second unit) now that AK get's inserted back into the the starting SF slot, we can field some sort of 3-point attempting lineup of Shved, Barea, Gelebale, Cunningham, and Steamer/CJ. Who the hell knows how many we'll actually make, but against the likes of Nick Young and Pargo we have to make something, right?
Let's key it up a bit...
Feed Andrei Kirilenko the ball. The way I see it, AK47 having the ball in his hands is a good thing. Having Rubio feed it to AK who can either shoot, cut, or pass it to a cutting Pekovic/Williams or back out to a corner Ridnour. The biggest beneficiary might not be Derrick Williams, but instead AK47 himself. If the first team can get it going, then who knows what'll happen.
AK47 + Gelebale in the same lineup. Call me crazy, I feel that Rubio/Gelebale/Ak47/DCHam/CJ of a lineup, no matter how long on the floor, would be fairly dominant.
Limit Jrue Holiday. Ricky can do that, but after that... who else?
Make some damn threes. If we have a lower 3-pt FG% than Thaddeus Young's season average, we're toast.
No three-guard lineup. Andrei's back, can we not pull that stunt... please?
Anyway, discuss. 30+ win-streak begins now where we make it into some sort of playoff miracle. Whoo~!!