Lots of weird storylines heading into tonight's action. The two teams have combined to play 93 games, yet have not played each other once. The 76ers are 10 games below .500, yet just 1.5 games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Odder still, they won their last game by 43 points. Yes, the Philadelphia 76ers, post-Allen Iverson, beat a team by 43 points. Next thing you know, Joe Johnson will make an All-Star team.
Oh, wait. Crap.
I'm most interested in seeing how Hedo Turkoglu plays in his first game, post-All-Star-snub. Hopefully, he'll do his best Al Thornton impression. Thornton, who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, was left off the roster for the Rookie Game at All-Star Weekend. He subsequently dropped 33 points on the Hawks in a 95-88 victory. I hope he dunked on Joe Johnson's head. For more notable examples of players going absolutely
apeshit nuts after getting snubbed, check out today's post at 20 Second Timeout.
The player who most worries me is Andre Miller. He's great at posting-up smaller guards, much like Chauncey Billups. He's going to give Arroyo and Jameer Nelson fits. Additionally, he throws some unfairly awesome outlet passes, like this alley-oop to Andre Iguodala from about 60 feet away. But don't let that highlight clip fool you into thinking the 76ers are a running team. Despite having young studs like Iguodala, Willie Green, and Louis Williams, they're only 22nd in the league in pace factor.
Anyway, Dwight Howard gets to compete against one of the few players in the league who can legitimately challenge him for rebounds. Reggie Evans, whom the Magic were reportedly interested in acquiring last summer, is 8th in the league in Rebound Rate, ahead of such luminaries as Tim Duncan, Andris Biedrins, and Carlos Boozer. Samuel Dalembert, who will guard Howard, is 20th. I can't mention Dalembert without throwing in the infamous Pat Garrity Dunk Mix. The following video is completely real. Do not adjust your screen.
For your 76ers fix, check out Sixers 4 Guidos.
See you at 7. Go Magic.