Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Philadelphia 76ers play two Western Conference opponents this week hoping to regain some positive momentum after the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers ended Philly's three-game win streak.
Things were starting to look up for Philadelphia, now 7-5 on the year, after a three-game win streak, but that was snapped when they lost to a Cleveland Cavaliers squad playing its first game without Kyrie Irving. Although the Sixers had five players in double digits that game, the shooting was inefficient and a 15-point first quarter doomed them. They've often simply gone cold, which is to be expected with streaky shooters like Jrue Holiday, Nick Young, and Jason Richardson providing most of the scoring and no real interior presence.
The Thunder provide a problem for pretty much any team: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Martin have meshed with James Harden now on the Rockets and are easily the best scoring trio in the league. Durant and Westbrook both average more than 20 points a game and Martin is shooting a ridiculous 54.1 percent from three despite taking 5.1 shots from long range per game. There's no real way to stop them, but they have lost three of their 12 games thus far, falling to San Antonio, Memphis and Atlanta, proving that even middling Eastern Conference teams can beat them on the right night.
A day later the 5-7 Phoenix Suns come to town. They've found some success and sit at 5-7, mainly thanks to a not-dead-yet pick-and-roll with Goran Dragic feeding Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat. Dragic is having a career year with 16.2 points and 7.3 assists, but the team has lost three of four.
Here's Philly's upcoming schedule:
Saturday, Nov. 24: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7 p.m., CSN Philly
Sunday, Nov. 25: Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelhia 76ers, 6 p.m., CSN Philly