Opponent Scouting: The Process. (5-18)
Tonight the Pistons will be welcoming the 76ers to the Palace for a game at 6:00pm EST. The Sixers are on 2 days rest after beating the Pelicans on Thursday. The Pistons are on one days rest after beating the Timberwolves on Friday.
The Sixers are bad, but not as bad as they have been. Instead of being historically bad, they are just normal bad. And when Joel Embiid is on the floor, they are actually decent. Overall the Sixers have a pretty miserable offensive efficiency of 96.4, and a pretty miserable defensive efficiency of 105.8. HOWEVA, with Embiid on the floor they are 98.1 and 97.9 to be barely positive. Joel Embiid has mostly been everything Sixers fans had been hoping for, scoring 18.4 points, 7.6 boards, 2.4 blocks, and shooting 44.2% from 3. And his per 36 numbers are straight crazy. He also totally dominates the ball on offense, but that's ok. When Embiid is not on the floor though, the team kind of falls apart. Robert Covington is a really good and versatile player, although he has really struggled to shoot this year. Sergio Rodriguez is a new point guard who is not a great scorer but he can really pass and is pretty fun to watch. Our old friend Ersan Ilyasova is doing his thing in Philadelphia shooting 3s taking charges, and generally being awesome. Nik Stauskas is having a revitalization as he is actually shooting well and generally scoring well. Dario Saric is finally in the states, he can shoot very well from the 4 spot but is struggling a bit from inside the arc. Gerald Henderson is a good wing who can score in a variety of ways, Jahlil Okafor is expected to play tonight, and he has, um, struggled this year. Nerlens Noel is supposed to make his debut for this season tonight as well. Hollis Thompson can shoot, T.J. McConnell kind of stinks.
The Sixers play hard, Joel Embiid is super fun, but they still stink. On the plus side though, the process finally appears to have reaped some real benefits.
Matchups to watch:
Andre vs. Embiid: Unlike the previous matchup (KAT) Embiid actually is playing center. So Andre will get to play against him for the entire night. Embiid is a monster in the post and on defense, and it will be pretty interesting to see how this one goes. Also of course the first matchup between the two.
Pistons vs. Not sucking: Look, the Pistons are better than the Sixers. By a pretty wide margin. If the Pistons don't play like crap, they will win.
So in conclusion...
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Joel Embiid is doing awesome stuff because its fun even if you are voting for the other team.
Andre Drummond is giving it back to Embiid just as well.
The Pistons are winning by like 20 by half time.
Run for the hills if:
The Pistons are not ahead by 20 at half time.
Joel gets Andre into early foul trouble.
The Pistons are playing crappy.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Joel Embiid scores a lot.
The Pistons win by a lot.
What do you think? Can Andre outplay Embiid?