CV's giving everyone plenty of reasons to smile lately.
Bucks (11-15, 5-11 road) @ Sixers (10-14, 6-7 home)
Gametime: 6:00 p.m. central time
|Andre Miller ||PG||Luke Ridnour|
|Wille Green ||SG||Michael Redd|
|Andre Iguodala||SF||Richard Jefferson|
|Elton Brand ||PF||Luc Mbah a Moute|
|Sam Dalembert ||C||Andrew Bogut|
Sixers: Jason Smith (knee) is out for the season.
Bucks: Malik Allen (ribs) is not expected to play.
08/09 Advanced Stats:
Sixers: Offense: 27th (102.0 points/100 possessions) Defense: 7th (103.2) Pace: 17th (90.6)
Bucks: Offense: 25th (103.9 points/100 possessions) Defense: 12th (106.0) Pace: 12th (92.2)
Cheeks out, DiLeo in. The Sixers were one of the 68 NBA teams that fired their head coach last week, as Mo Cheeks took the axe 23 games into his fourth season as Sixers' coach. Following their promising first round performance in last year's playoffs and the megabucks signing of Elton Brand, a 9-14 start was not exactly what fans had in mind. Cheeks is known as one of the classiest and most well-liked guys in the coaching profession, and the success he had last year was probably one of the reasons Philadelphia showed so little patience this year. Also complicating things has been the slowish starts of Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand--which is kind of a problem considering Philly gave them a combined $162 million this summer. So can a core of Brand, Iguodala, Miller and their youngsters ever be legit contenders? Unless Thaddeus Young becomes a legit star (you know, soonish), the answer would appear to be an obvious no. But hey, I'm a Bucks fan so I probably shouldn't talk...
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I couldn't talk about the Sixers without referencing the best show on TV could I? Among the many reasons for optimism coming into the season was the potential of Thad Young and Louis Williams, the latter of whom re-signed for five years and $25 million this summer. Unfortunately neither youngster has improved on their breakout 07/08 campaigns. Combo guard Williams has shot just 38% from the field thus far, though he's upped that to 14.3 ppg and 48% this month. Young is still only 20, but has gone back to the bench the past three games, allowing Willie Green to start and shifting Iguodala back to the 3. Green scorched the Bucks for 30 back in January 2006--the same game Bogut went off for 20 points and 24 boards. Green will be guarding Redd in the battle of Bucks' colors...ah, puns.
Charles in Charge. Given the time I spent writing about him on Sunday, I'd like to thank Charlie V for continuing to ball like we've always known he was capable of. After Luc Mbah a Moute had finished putting on a defensive clinic in the first quarter against Miami, CV came in and provided the same sort of schooling on the other end, tallying 16 first half points. I guess he's OK with coming off the bench, eh? As in the Pacer game, Villanueva didn't have the same luck in the second half, scoring just four points after halftime and finishing just 8/19 from the field. But his second half points came on two key hoops late in the game, and he also chipped in a team-high five dimes, springing Bogut for a number of easy buckets down low.