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Preview: Suns @ 76ers (Better keep an eye on Speights)

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Marreese Speights has played 4 games against the Phoenix Suns in his short NBA career. In two of those games he averaged 28 points. In the other two he averaged 7. The two good games happened to be the first time Phoenix saw the young power forward last season and this preseason. The two bad games were the second time the Suns saw Speights last season and this preseason.

The Suns defense might want to pay a little more attention to this big and talented forward when he's in the game. He can shoot the ball a little bit and he's fairly mobile as well despite looking huge when I saw him in October.

Beyond Marreese, the two 76ers that can ruin the Suns shot at a 4-1 road trip are Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Andre Iguodala 6 38.5 7.2 14.7 48.9 1.0 3.0 33.3 4.0 5.8 68.6 0.2 5.8 6.0 5.3 2.8 2.5 0.2 1.7 19.3

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Louis Williams 6 34.5 5.5 11.2 49.3 0.8 3.0 27.8 3.5 4.2 84.0 0.7 4.0 4.7 5.2 1.3 1.5 0.0 1.8 15.3


Williams is a small but speedy point guard in the mold of an Aaron Brooks. He can get pretty much anywhere on the court and has a knack for scoring the ball. He's not turning the ball over but in large part that's probably because he's not looking to pass it much which is probably why the 76ers are only 17th in the league in offensive efficiency despite their talent.

Dre' is going to present a much different match-up problem for Jason Richardson than the minuscule Randy Foye and the aging and undersized Ray Allen. JRich did a respectable job on Dwayne Wade and he's going to have his hands full once again tonight. I don't think we will be seeing a lot of Jason in the post against Iggy.

What we probably will see is a lot of that zone defense that frustrated the Heat. The 76ers only shoot about 29% from behind the line and they love to get to the rim with their attacking wings and speedy point.

On the defensive end the Liberty Baller Boys are struggling behind the struggles of second year stud struggler Thad Young.

Here's what the home town blog had to say about Young's play so far this season:

I don't know what Thad's deal is, but there isn't a single thing he's doing well right now. He's shooting 41% from the floor and 9% from three. He's not getting to the foul line. He's playing (or not playing) any sort of defense. He can't dribble. He can't pass. Whether we've grossly overrated him, he's off to a slow start, or he doesn't fit EJ's system remains to be seen, but something has to be done if the Sixers are going to be competitive against teams not named the Nets and Knicks.

With Young not playing well and Elton Brand still trying to find his way off a milk carton and back into the elite NBA forwards discussion the Suns should be able to get this win tonight and return home as the heroes who earned the #1 spot in the power rankings.

Should win.

Lets not forget this is the last game of a long East Coast road trip, the second of a back-to-back and the 5th game in 7 nights.

I expect Nash to be tired and Hill is supposedly nursing a wrist sore after a fall in Orlando which explains his abysmal shooting over the past three games (9 for 27, 33%).

To get this win tonight is going to take a combination of Amare continuing his great play (he's averaging 20 points on 57% shooting and 11 rebounds on this road trip); Frye staying hot from long range and the bench doing the bench thing especially defensively against Speights!

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