The Philadelphia 76ers had held Andre Iguodala in low esteem for years. They had their reasons. Shot selection among them. Defense and hustle, probably not. When they did move him, they netted controversial Lakers center Andrew Bynum and all of his knee ailments. That it is his contract year could prove to push the big man to be ultra cautious and sit the entire year, or motivate him to show the league’s potential suitors what he can do at some point this season.
As it is, the Sixers are without both Iguodala and Bynum for tonight’s game against the Timberwolves. Well played, Rod Thorn.
Sixers probable starting lineup:
PG Jrue Holiday
SG Jason Richardson
SF Evan Turner
PF Thaddeus Young
C Lavoy Allen
The Sixers start Allen and bring 7-footer Spencer Hawes off the bench. There’s a good chance former starter, Kwame Brown, will be seeing some time tonight.
Holiday has been tearing it up this year, averaging 18.5 points per game on 46% shooting, to go with 9.3 assists. (19/11 over his last 5.)
Turner has been overshadowed by Iguodala since he was drafted and Iggy’s exit would pave the way for Turner’s breakout season, or so the theory went. Turner has underwhelmed on the season, averaging 14 and 7 on 44% shooting, but over his last 5 he has been hot: 20/6 on 51% shooting.
The Sixers are 25th in the league in scoring and 7th in points allowed. They hit 38% of their 3s (good for 6th best in the league) and attempt 18 a game (21st), with Richardson throwing up 6 per contest.
Wolves probable starting lineup:
PG Luke Ridnour
SG J.J. Barea
SF Josh Howard
PF Kevin Love
C Nikola Pekovic
Love struggled again to find his touch, but didn’t struggle to put up shots against Milwaukee, going 5-19. Pekovic missed multiple shots at the rim, going 5-12, while having others thrown back in his face by Larry Sanders. They did their share of dirty work on the boards, going for 14 and 16, respectively. The resistance should be minimal this evening.
Andrei Kirilenko did not make the road trip.
And while we’re at it…