The Sixers have had three separate two game losing streaks this year. In each of the first two instances they have rebounded by winning three straight games. The Sixers snapped their two game losing streak on Sunday with a win over the Suns. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, they have lost 10 of their last 12 games against the Mavericks, including the last three games (most recently February 17th). The Sixers are 7-0 when leading after three quarters but only 1-6 when trailing after three. A key to watch with the Sixers is how they are shooting the three tonight. They are 5-2 when shooting 40% or better from beyond the arc.
Who to Watch: Thaddeus Young. Young has stepped into the starting role this season replacing the aforementioned Brand. Young is averaging 13.6 points and 7.9 rebounds in 35.6 minutes per game. He is averaging 19.5 points per game over his last two games while shooting 60% from the field. Already this year, Young has four double-doubles after one registering one double-double last year. He will likely be charged with covering Elton Brand, which won’t be easy for Young who spots Brand 20 lbs. (officially but it is probably more).
The Mavericks will be without the face of their franchise, Dirk Nowitzki, who is not traveling with the team following right knee surgery. New Dallas point guard Darren Collison has played well averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 assists per game. Collison and Sixers’ point guard Jrue Holiday started all 35 games in 2008-09 for UCLA before both were selected 17th (Holiday) and 21st (Collison) overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. Dallas has alternated wins and loses in each of their last seven games. They last played on Saturday where they lost 115-89 to the Lakers. They are only 2-4 away from the American Airlines Center.
Who to Watch: O.J. Mayo. The former third overall pick has found success in his first season in Dallas after spending the last four years with the Memphis Grizzlies. Mayo is sixth in the league in scoring averaging 21.5 points per game. He has been lethal from beyond the arc this year. Mayo has hit the second most 3-pointers (42) as anyone in the league. He is 42-for-79 (53.2%) from 3-point range this year. He is coming off his worst performance of the month of November scoring just 13 points in 29 minutes against Los Angeles.
PG – Jrue Holiday
SG – Jason Richardson
SF – Evan Turner
PF – Thaddeus Young
C – Lavoy Allen
Tipoff is slated for 7:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets are still available for the game. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
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