I love the Morrow start and Aminu not playing at all. Monty looks like he's actually put some work in tonight with all the different lineups I've seen in the first half.
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Monty tightens Rotation as Pelicans handle 76ers »
Game On: Pelicans @ 76ers
Once again, the Pelicans are meeting the 76ers after a crushing loss and a heart-breaking loss. Last time, the Pelicans fought the go-go 76ers and dominated their small ball line-up behind a monster game by Anthony Davis. Tonight, they will again face a team again forced to play hardcore small-ball as their one big man, Spencer Hawes, is questionanble for the game. That leaves 6-8 Thaddeus Young and Lavoy Allen holding down the middle next to foul magnet Daniel Orton and rookie Brandon Davies.
This should play into the Pelicans hands – as Davis is agile enough to contain any big on the team and the Pelicans are well-suited to run – and the 76ers sport the fastest pace in the league. Despite a pair of wings who will not pass on the fast break, the Pelicans are actually very good at generating points on the run – especially when Davis is starting them with blocks.
However, we should not expect a dominant blowout like the last one. First, that is difficult. Second, the 76ers have their best player on the floor this time as rookie Michael Carter-Williams missed the last game between these teams. Though MCW’s shooting numbers are settling near 40% – where we expected they’d be based on his college numbers – his all-around game continues to be reminiscent of guards like Kidd and Rondo who couldn’t shoot, but could defend, generate steals, grab rebounds and start breaks, and make the right pass. MCW is posting a line of 18-6-7-3-1 with a trio of turnovers. Not bad at all – and he and Evan Turner have been able to play off each other and be pretty effective in the early going.
Keys to the Game:
- If they want to run, Run. The Pelicans pace is 14th in the league – a huge jump for a Monty Williams team. The Pelicans are effective when they attack quickly – so if the Sixers want that type of game, do it.
- Finish their layups. The 76ers allow easy shots at the rim – allowing one of the highest rates there in the league. The Pelicans get there frequently, but struggle finishing. Which trend will win? If the Pelicans make those shots, this game becomes easier.
- Crush the boards. The 76ers are a surprisingly good rebounding team, with all of its perimeter players getting into the act. The Pelicans can match athleticism for athleticism. Dominate those boards, and the Sixers have no chance.
Enjoy the game!