The red hot Dallas Mavericks come to town tonight to face a Sixers team that's pretty hot in its own right. Dallas has just one loss in its last 17 games while the Sixers have only lost 4 over that span. Philly's 9-3 record in February is their best winning percentage for a month in eight years and was good enough to earn coach Doug Collins the Eastern Conference Coach Of The Month award.
"Doug Collins is once again doing a phenomenal job completely revamping a team and franchise," Carlisle said in an e-mail. "The Sixers have gone from a disinterested team, particularly on defense, to one of the hottest and most exciting teams in the NBA. . . . I don't know of a bigger difference-maker in coaching than Doug Collins."
Tonight's game pits two of the best benches in basketball against one another. Over their 16-1 run, the Mavericks bench 49.2 points per game, over the same span the Sixer bench has 42.2 points a game. Both units are among the NBA's best. The Sixers got 38 points from the trio of Thaddeus Young, Lou Williams & Evan Turner on Sunday to help them get over a slow start and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers. They'll certainly need a similar performance against one of the best and deepest teams in the NBA tonight.