Philadelphia received some bad news today when Doug Collins announced that starting power forward Elton Brand would be out for tonight and tomorrow’s game, as reported on Whiz Wit earlier today. This comes at a terrible time as the Sixers will still be without Spencer Hawes until at least the All Star Break. Little used forward Andres Nocioni will get his first start of the season in place of Brand.
Collins expressed some concern today over his teams’ ability to close out game, especially Sunday’s heartbreaking 1 point defeat. Collins said, "it's a shame we haven't been able to get that critical stop.” While the Sixers’ defense has helped them achieve 8 wins of at least 20 points, the team has only won 4 games decided by less than points.
For the Grizzlies the main scoring threat is Rudy Gay. Gay has emerged as a young star, averaging 19 points and 6.6 rebounds a game. To have success tonight the Sixers are going to have to limit second chance opportunities that will be generated by Marc Gasol (9.9 rebounds). Additionally the Sixers’ will square off against former teammate Marreese Speights for the first time since he was traded earlier this season. Speights is averaging 8.5 points for Memphis.
Memphis has won the last three against Philadelphia including a sweep in the season series last year. Tip-off is set for 8:00 tonight at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. The game can be caught on the Comcast Network or on the radio on 610 WIP.
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