Le Basketbawl Columnist Gregory Dix Previews Knicks VS Sixers

After watching LeBron win a game in dramatic fashion in Oracle discussing the Knicks-Sixers seems mute. But, alas I have a case of Flying Fish Winter Brew riding on this one. The Knicks easily beat the embarrassing Griz tonight. Yes, Griz fans I believed earlier this year. I was dead wrong! You officially are a disgrace. You better hope your management takes the Sixer’s sloppy seconds and hire Mo Cheeks! For all off Mo faults he is a tremendous developer of young talent. The Griz just aren’t that bright. It looks like they are going to hire Lionel Hollins for the third time. The third time isn’t going to be the charm Memphis. Sorry to say this but it looks like your fate is as dismal as the LA Clippers. Sorry I digressed back to the point at hand…

The Knicks are on a role winning three straight beating a team that would be better off in the D-league. The Sixers won seven straight and the eighth win was in reach until Dirk Nowitzki hit a game winner Monday. The Sixers should feel confident since they have been off for nearly a week and Saturday is the return of Elton Brand. That is the problem. The square peg in the round hole is returning. I have tremendous respect for Tony DiLeo. How can I not? He lives less then 5 minutes from my house. That being the case he still hasn’t dealt with the elephant in the room.

Eddie Stefanski made a big splash this off season in signing Elton. Philadelphia rejoiced! I was one of the masses praising Eddie. All of us were so desperate for a legit star. Philadelphians have been starved for a legit power forward since the disgraceful exodus of Charles Barkley in perhaps the worse basketball trade in Philly’s history. Thanks again Harold Katz! But we should have realized the Sixer’s game was not the half court set. Running the pick and pop with Brand was nearly impossible unless your name was Willie Green and the only reason Green could do that was thanks to the residual coaching efforts of Jim O’Brien. The Sixers made the error of playing Brand’s game. Their game was the up tempo style in transition. DiLeo recognized this and returned to the transition game. Hence Igodala’s game returned to normal and the Sixers returned to form. The emergence of Lou Williams and Marreese Speight’s has lead the return to a team that Philly recognizes.  DiLeo had the good fortune of Brand’s injury. Now the eighty three million dollar man is back and DiLeo must make this work. Everyone knows that Eddie won’t let Tony leave Elton on the bench for an extending period of time. Vegas knows this. Just look at the 1.5 point line for Saturday’s game. Brand is going to wreak havoc on the Sixers.

Is all hope lost? No. Look how well Zach Randolph responded to the Mike D’Antoni system. He responded so well the Knicks were able to trade the chronic underperformer. I am not saying that Brand is as bad as Randolph. In fact I believe he is a tremendous player. He still isn’t 100% from his surgery. Brand needs to be given time to adapt to the Sixers return to up tempo.

Bottom Line- Knicks beat the Sixers. The Knicks are more rehearsed in the fast paced frantic D’Antoni system. David Lee has had 31 double doubles and Duhon is emerging as a true point. Add that to Al Harrington and the amazing three point shooting of the Knicks and the Sixers are as fried as Crown fried chicken at 2am on a Friday. The Sixers are still in their infancy under DiLeo and Brand is like having a pharmacist do brain surgery. The pharmacist may be intelligent but he has no knowledge of surgery. Brand will learn how to play with the boys but it’s going to take time. Spike Lee enjoy! It’s all Knicks tomorrow…

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