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Warriors open 4-game trip at Sixers

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The Warriors start a 4-game road trip in Philadelphia against the undefeated Sixers. It should be a fun - and tough - trip.

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One upon a time, I lived in Philly. It's a tough town for athletes, and the press often resemble a pack of hyenas. But like everywhere, they love a good underdog story, and the Sixers are giving them one. Drafting Michael Carter-Williams, unleashing Evan Turner, and an improbably star-level start from...

Spencer Hawes???????

Yeah, I said it was improbable. Hawes is averaging 22.5 pts/36, and 13.2 rebs/36 through 3 games. He's got the sixth-highest WS/48 in the league (.317) and a PER of 30. It's a very small sample size, and the part of Philly's game most likely to collapse in the short term, but there it is.

For the Dubs, this is the first game of a road trip that includes two of the four undefeated teams (Minn is the other one they play.) It's a good trip to test the ability of this team to adapt. And while it probably won't be an easy win, I expect the Warriors to win this one.

As good as Michael Carter-Williams appears to be (and that's pretty good), he's likely to run against Klay Thompson for at least part of the game, and Klay may be able to slow him down considerably. With Andre Iguodala on Evan Turner and Andrew Bogut in the middle against Hawes, the SIxers' main weapons are matched against the Dubs' best defenders.

Philadelphia has been playing fast - about the same rate as the Warriors and the Lakers. As we've seen with the Lakers, a fast-paced scramble game can help a less-skilled team beat a theoretically better team. This didn't work for the Lakers against Golden State, and I don't expect it to help the Sixers all that much. The Dubs have more talent and play at the same pace. Both teams are shooting very well - the Dubs are at .605 eFG%, 1st in the league, while Philly is 3rd at .560. The difference is on defense - the Warriors have the 5th-best opponent eFG%, while the Sixers are at 22nd. In theory, this should translate into a solid win, particularly if the Dubs' 3-point shooting remains as potent as it has.

Predictions:

Warriors by 6.

Some Warrior goes for 30.