Will the Suns Turn the So-So Sixers Into a Beast From the East Tonight?

The Philadelphia 76ers are mediocre, with a dollop of turmoil.

Former head coach Maurice Cheeks, one of the franchise's all-time greats, got the bum's rush back in December. Their marquee name, Elton Brand, is out for the rest of the season with a bad wing. Their top active player is shooting guard Andre Iguodala, who shoots sub-50 percent from two-point range, under 30 percent from three. The rest of their lineup is fleshed out by the unintimidating likes of Samuel Dalembert, Thaddeus Young, and Andre Miller.

Doesn't matter.

If recent history's a guide, the Suns will make Iguodala look like Dr. J and these so-so Sixers look like the '95-96 Chicago Bulls when Phoenix visits Philly's Wachovia Center on Monday, February 9. Transforming lumps of NBA coal into diamonds is a Suns specialty this year, and it won't help that the Philly game is the hind end of a road back-to-back.

Buck up, Suns fans. It gets worse. After Philly, Phoenix faces LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Wednesday in Cleveland, where the Cavs are...23-1. When it rains, it sleets.

The Philly game tips at 5 p.m. See www.nba.com/suns. TV: NBA TV, My45 (cable 9). Radio: KTAR-AM 620.

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