By Sean Kennedy
Quick preview for you Sixers fans as I have my annual day-after-Thanksgiving football game to play in this morning. After all, I only have so many years left before my body channels Detective Murtaugh and tells me I’m too old for this (well, you know the rest). Anyway, the Sixers faced New Orleans just two weeks ago and Evan Turner is reportedly still having PTSD-nightmares about Anthony Davis looming behind him to block everything in sight.
Ryan Anderson made his season-debut in that game, torching the Sixers for 6 threes on his way to 26 points. He’s continued to play well since, now averaging 19.2 ppg in 5 games and shooting 53.1% from downtown. Lineups with he and Anthony Davis playing together with the starting guards have been extremely efficient offensively. I’d say the Sixers need to concentrate on keeping track of him on the perimeter but we all know defensive rotations on the perimeter aren’t a part of their skillset.
I have to at least talk a bit about Anthony Davis because he’s really blossomed into one of the best players in the league. An NBA.com Stats article from last week really tells the story of how effective Davis has been on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and I definitely recommend you give it a read (after you finish this and today’s other articles on this site). They say oceans cover 71% of the planet and the rest is taken care of by Anthony Davis. I’d put Davis alongside LeBron and Paul George as the best two-way players in the NBA right now. Let me know if you disagree but I stand by that statement.
Finally, Jrue Holiday will be making his first appearance at the Wells Fargo Center as a member of the opposition. It’ll be nice to see the great ovation he’ll receive from the Sixers fans that once adored him. Holiday has done a better job in recent weeks of keeping down the turnovers (3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio in his past 5 games) and appears to have settled into a groove with his new squad. He’s not going to put up his all-star numbers with so many ball-dominant players on the Pelicans but New Orleans isn’t complaining about the trade based on his play of late.
No word yet on whether Spencer Hawes and Tony Wroten will be back in action tonight but you’d think they would be given their game-time decision status on Wednesday. But Hawes might be riding off into the sunset after his heroic shot against the Bucks, you never know. Either way, the Pelicans present too many match-up problems for the Sixers with their full arsenal of perimeter threats and Anthony Davis snuffing out all of Philadelphia’s drives to the rim where they make a living. New Orleans takes the rematch as well.