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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Detroit Pistons will likely not create the same type of problems for the Sixers that the Milwaukee Bucks did on Monday night.
The Pistons come into this game winless on the season (0-8), 24th in the league in offensive efficiency, and 29th in the league in defensive efficiency. They are last in the NBA in point differential. The Pistons, if the statistics have not convinced you, are a bad basketball team.
The news broke earlier this week that the Sixers will be without Andrew Bynum until January at the earliest, so the notion of the big man coming along and fixing the offense should be well in the back of the team’s mind. For now, it’s about finding ways to get to the basket, generating free throws and open three point shots, and taking care of the ball.
Look for Jrue Holiday to continue to create shots for other people, and score as he’s done so far. Perhaps even more important for Holiday will be to begin to limit turnovers. Holiday had eight turnovers in the loss to the Bucks, and leads the NBA in that category with six per game. The Sixers led the NBA in 2011-12 in fewest turnovers, but Holiday was not the primary ball handler. His as the true point guard has come with many promising moments, but almost as many careless moments.
Evan Turner, after having a couple of solid games, looked lost against the Bucks. He was unable to guard either Jennings or Monta Ellis, and seemed unsure of where to be on offense. When Turner is a contributor, the Sixers are a much better team.
The biggest challenge the Pistons present is in their center, Greg Monroe. With that, it would be nice to see a contribution from Lavoy Allen, at least defensively. Allen has spent much of the season looking a bit lost on both sides of the court. With both Bynum and Kwame Brown out for the foreseeable future, Collins may have no choice but to give rookie Arnett Moultrie more minutes if Allen doesn’t progress.
Of course, we’ll all be on Specner Hawes headband watch as well.