The Philadelphia 76ers can move over .500 this weekend, but they'll have to win a pair of games against West Coast teams that are decent -- or better -- to do so.
With Jrue Holiday back in the lineup, the 76ers have seemingly righted themselves after an ugly six-game losing streak, winning two out of three. Jason Richardson missed the team's last game, but Dorell Wright filled in admirably, scoring a team-high 28 in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Now, they head to the other side of the map to play two strong squads.
First up are the Golden State Warriors, who had been the top team in the Pacific Division before a monster run by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors have five players averaging double-digits, but they're led by a pair of players having great seasons, Stephen Curry and David Lee. Curry is having a breakout year with his scoring total bumped above 20 points per game for the first time while averaging a career high in assists, while Lee is averaging a double-double with 19.9 points and 11.2 rebounds.Their weakness is probably on the defensive end; in their last six games, their two losses were a 118-115 overtime affair against the Los Angeles Lakers, and a game where the Sacramento Kings hit 131 in regulation.
The Portland Trail Blazers are next, recently having a five-game winning streak snapped by splitting a home-and-home with the Sacramento Kings. Philadelphia's makeshift bigs could be in trouble against a strong frontcourt of LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson, with Aldridge averaging 21.1 points and Hickson getting a double-double every night. The offense is keyed by Damian Lillard, a rookie having an exceptional season and will provide a tough check for Jrue Holiday, although he can shoot the team out of games from time to time.
Here's a look at Philadelphia's games over the next few days:
Friday, Dec. 28
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors
10:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Philly
Saturday, Dec. 29
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
10 p.m., Comcast Network