There’s no question that the New York Knicks will have their hands full Wednesday with the red hot 76er’s. The Sixers (6-2), have won their last 5 games and will be a definite challenge for the Knicks (5-4) who are on a winning streak of their own.
The Philadelphia Sixers have significantly improved since being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat last season.
The Sixers starting point guard, Jrue Holiday, has made a major improvement in his game this year. To start, he is an excellent defender. Averaging a career-high 1.5 steals per game, Jrue is great at stripping the ball and anticipating passing lanes. He is also averaging .900 from the line, another career high. If he can keep that up he will be amongst the league leaders in FT%. Late game scoring has also come easy to the guard in these first eight games. Holiday has recently hit some big 3’s, swinging the momentum late in the game.
Another majorly improved player to keep an eye on is Spencer Hawes. The Center put in some major work this off-season with former Seattle Supersonics superstar, Shawn Kemp. Spencer is averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds this season.
Forward Andre Iguodala is a vital part of this Sixers team. He averages 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per game but has the ability to put up far more than that. Just the other night, Iguodala scored 20 points and pulled down 9 rebounds in a victory over the Pacers.
Jodie Meeks, Sixers starting Shooting Guard, is streaky but can be dangerous when he’s hot. Though Meeks only averages 7 PPG, he put up 21 points in the 76’ers home opener vs. Detroit. 17 of his 21 points came in the 4th quarter.
There’s no doubt that the 76’ers have a solid starting 5 this year, but their second unit is one of the better benches in the NBA right now…
Lou Williams, 6-year veteran (all with PHI), comes off of the bench as the leading scorer of the team. He is the only player to score in double digits in all 8 games this season.
Evan Turner (Guard), the second overall pick in the draft last year, averages 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Nikola Vucevic, a rookie, also is productive off of the bench. He is a good defender and can knock down the 3. In his last game vs. the Pacers, Nikola scored 11 points and 8 rebounds in just 17 minutes.
Forward, Thaddeus Young averages 12 points, 5 rebounds off the bench. But more importantly, he is an excellent defender. Young took 4 charges in their last game vs. the Pacers.
People are going to have start talking about him about the all-defensive team.”
– Sixers coach Doug Collins on Young
Last but not least, the Sixers are led by a great Coach in Doug Collins. Since taking over last year, their average for points per opponent has dropped significantly. Their defense is good and has already helped them to a great start at 6-2.
The Sixers game vs. the Knicks will be their final game of a back-to-back-to-back series.