Projected Starters

Philadelphia                                                            Golden State

PG –  Jrue Holiday                                                  Stephen Curry

SG –  Jodie Meeks                                                   Brandon Rush

SF –  Andre Iguodala                                             Dorell Wright

PF – Elton Brand                                                   David Lee

C –    Spencer Hawes                                             Andris Biedrins

Scope the opposition: Get your Sixers fit at Philadunkia.

Preview: Fresh of a victory over the New York Knicks, the Golden State Warriors (2-1) will host the Philadelphia 76ers (1-2) tonight at Oracle Arena. The Sixers are coming off a last second defeat against the Jazz that occurred last night in Salt Lake City.

So far this season, the 76ers are averaging 101.7 points per game (fifth in the NBA) on 47.9 percent field goal shooting (fourth in the association). Philadelphia has been successful so far this season on offense because they do an excellent job of getting out in transition, where they score 17.3 fast break points per game (fourth in the league) and also because they play at the eighth fastest pace in the NBA.

Indeed, Doug Collins not only gets his team to come up and down the court quickly to get shots up, but he also has the 76ers extend their pressure defense all the way out to half-court to speed up the tempo of the game.

As efficient as Philadelphia has been on offense in their first three games, they do have the potential to go cold given their reliance on perimeter shots.

The 76ers like to do a lot of drive and kicks but they also run a lot of their offense around the elbows. Consequently, their big men (Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young) like to set up shop around the high post and try to score on their defenders from that distance or simply run pick-and-pops that give them the opportunity to shoot from the elbows. Have a look at Philadelphia’s shot attempts by location as compiled by Hoopdata:

Shot Location

Attempts per game

NBA Rank

At the rim



3-9 feet



10-15 feet



16-23 feet



3-point range



As long as the Sixers are making shots, they will be able to keep the pressure on their opponents to keep scoring, but should they get in a rut and start missing, the long rebounds can lead to multiple fast break opportunities going the other way.

Also, the Philly guards (Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner) can occasionally get dribble-happy and try to breakdown their defenders off the bounce; this could play directly into the hands of the Warriors defense after seeing how they loaded up on Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose in their last two games.

Golden State has relied on their solid defense as well as the playmaking exploits of Monta Ellis late in games to win back-to-back contests; but given that Ellis is expected to miss the game due to family reasons, the onus will fall on the shoulders of Stephen Curry who should be returning to the line-up after missing a game and half of a quarter due to an ankle injury.

Mark Jackson has stated that either Brandon Rush or Klay Thompson could get the start tonight. Considering that Rush is the better defensive player and would be matched up against Jodie Meeks, I would expect him to get the nod; but then again Jackson might want give his struggling rookie the vote of confidence by inserting him into the starting five.

Expect the Warriors to share the ball much like they did in the second half of the game against the New York Knicks and for Curry to run multiple pick-and-rolls with David Lee. With Ellis absent, Dorell Wright should get a chance to put up some shots and attack the basket; but Iguodala’s defense may prove to be problematic in some cases for the Warriors starting small forward.

The Dubs have only shot 43.6 percent from the field (19th in the NBA) in their first three games, but their 11.7 offensive rebounds per game (12th in the league) have allowed them to get second chance opportunities and limit their opponents’ transition game.

Expect a big game on the boards from David Lee, and also Ekpe Udoh might get a few touches on the block after his successful attempts down there against the Knicks.

Philadelphia game notes: In his last two meetings against the Warriors, Jrue Holiday is averaging 19.5 points, 9.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game on 55.6 percent field goal shooting.

Golden State game notes: In his last two meetings against the 76ers, Dorell Wright is averaging 22.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game on 59.1 percent field goal shooting and 41.7 percent 3-point field goal shooting.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at [email protected].