The Sixers will be without star center Andrew Bynum for the opener tonight as he rests his injured knee. There is no timetable for his return but he has begun some low impact drills and will be evaluated on a daily basis. Former Temple star and last year’s breakout rookie, Lavoy Allen, will get the start at center for the Sixers tonight. As for the rest of the newcomers, everyone is expected to be active tonight. The additions to Dorell Wright, Nick Young, and Jason Richardson should give the new look Sixers a boost from beyond the arc. Nick Young is a shooter who forces a lot of shots and wants the ball every time down the court. Luckily for the Sixers, he has the ability to score as he shot nearly 41% from the field and 37% from 3-point range.
Who to Watch: Dorell Wright- The 6’9” Wright started all of his 143 games for the Golden State Warriors. In 2010-11, Wright averaged 16.4 points per game on 14 shot attempts per game, six of which came from 3-point range. In 2011-12, those numbers dropped significantly. Wright averaged only 10.3 points per game averaging only 8.6 shots per game with nearly five of them coming from beyond the arc. If Wright can return to 2010-11 form, the Sixers got a steal.
As for the Denver Nuggets, they had an overhaul of their own. They traded guard Aaron Aflalo and forward Al Harrington to the Orlando Magic and received Iguodala from the Sixers in the major trade that sent Dwight Howard to Los Angeles and Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia. Iguodala had a rocky exit from Philadelphia which was made worse by his comments a few weeks ago that he “did not enjoy playing basketball a whole lot the past few years.” Needless to say, the already electric crowd at the Wells Fargo Center might a little more animated tonight when Iguodala is announced. He tried to fix the situation a little bit today by posting a letter to Philadelphia fans. Iguodala played eight seasons in Philadelphia averaging 15.3 points per game while grabbing 5.8 rebounds and dishing out 4.9 assists.
Who to Watch: Ty Lawson- Lawson, a former North Carolina Tar Heel who was taken two spots after Jrue Holiday in the 2009 NBA Draft, is the leader of the offense. He averaged 16.7 points per game last year while dishing out 6.6 assists and grabbing nearly four rebounds. (Note: Lawson’s (12/ 4.8/ 2.7) and Holiday’s (11.9/ 5.0/ 3.3) career numbers are eerily similar). Lawson signed a four year, $48 million extension with Denver last night (note: Jrue Holiday’s contract might be in that range).
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. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
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