Trail Blazers @ 76ers Game Thread
The marquee matchup takes place in the middle. JJ Hickson, who has been playing out of position all season long, has been a terror down low, racking up 37 double-doubles -- ranking him 3rd in the entire NBA -- and averaging 10.7 rebounds per game -- 10th in the league. While Spencer Hawes doesn't have Hickson's numbers (10.4 points, 6.8 rebounds), he does have four inches of height on JJ (7-1 compared to Hickson's 6-9) and is coming off of one of the great NBA performances this season against Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers in which Hawes tallied 18 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, and 7 blocks. For the Trail Blazers to start this trip off on the right foot, JJ needs to control Hawes not only on the backboards but pressure him on the defensive end. If JJ can't guard Hawes straight up and Portland is forced to double, Spencer has shown the ability to pass well out of the double team.
So Rip City, what are your keys to victory? Continue>>>