The 18-9 Philadelphia 76ers have lost two consecutive games for the first time all season. On Wednesday night they were torched by Tony Parker – 37 points and 8 assists – and the Spurs, followed by a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. The Sixers led the Clippers for most of the first half, but Chris Paul kept LA in the game and won the game on a fadeaway jumper over Andre Iguodala with three seconds remaining.
The common denominator in both losses was the play of the opposing point guard. Granted, Tony Parker and Chris Paul are both NBA All-Stars and among the best point guards in the league. Tonight the Sixers will face another good point guard, the early favorite for rookie of the year, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavilers.
Irving is eighth in PER among point guards who play 20+ minutes, behind Paul at number one and Parker at number seven. He's averaging 18 points, 5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game this season. He presents another tough match-up for Jrue Holiday and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Both teams are coming off losses, and both teams will be playing the second game of a back-to-back.