Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 12/31/11

Just last night the Philadelphia 76ers were in a dogfight with the Utah Jazz. The outcome didn't favor the Sixers, though, as they fell just short after failing to capitalize on Utah's miscues. But they can't hang their heads on the loss or else they will slip up against a Golden State team that features a real threat in the scoring department, Monta Ellis. 

Remember when the media was hyping up a straight-up trade featuring Andre Iguodala for Ellis this offseason? Well the two players will duel tonight in Oakland as both guys attempt to lead their teams to victory. 

Sticking with Ellis, the Warriors will do whatever they can to feed him the ball. Their is a direct correlation between Ellis' scoring totals and the outcome of the game. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, the Warriors are 32-16 when Ellis scores 22 or more points; however, when he fails to do so, they are a dismal 4-29. Against the Sixers, though, this trend is just 1-1. Ellis scored 22 points in Golden State's home win last December against Philly, but he also scored 27 in a losing effort to Philadelphia on March 6. 

Oh, but I forgot to mention though. The Sixers won't have to worry about Ellis tonight as he will be attending a funeral for a family member. 

Without Ellis, the Warriors are a far less dangerous team, but they can still hang around with teams. Second-year man Stephan Curry will test the Sixers' defense, and David Lee will cause some problems down low for the Sixers' frontcourt. 

It's worth nothing that the Warriors are coming off a very impressive 92-78 victory over the New York Knicks. But that was with Ellis. The Warriors are a completely different team without their go-to scorer, and it gives the Sixers a legitimate chance to knock off Golden State and get back to .500 on the very young season. 

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