Game #11: Swaggadocio!

A 106-98 comeback WIN for the 76ers. Behind a beatific, out-of-body performance from the Holy Fool, Nick Young; better known to his adopted brothers on Planet Earth as Swaggy P.

What did the man of a many names have to say about his performance?

“It’s all part of the ‘Swaggy P’ movement” ACTUAL QUOTE.

Is this a sign that the Blessed One might be renouncing basketball to pursue his true calling as cult leader? That might be a good thing for the transcendentalism of the human consciousness, but not good for the Sixers bench. Don’t leave us Swaggy, the City needs you.

If the saying is true that the Gods smile on babes and fools, then Nick Young was a real foolish baby last night. Nick Young’s spirit avatar went off for 23pts (crazy) points on 13 shots, 4 assists, no turnovers. Pretty much every shot looked like this…

Postgame; Doug Collins says with a straight face that he “drew up some plays for Swaggy” for tonight’s game. apparently Collins drew up the play where Nick Young swishes contested desperation threes while falling out of bounds. In a sad commentary on the Sixers offensive sets, that may be an actual play.

But that’s part of his magic, strange things happen with Swaggy on the court. For instance, here he is throwing an alley-oop pass to God…

Here’s another pass to God, followed by a prayer circle with Evan Turner…

But hey, he also does this…

And he dresses like this…

ON TO THE GAME!

THE GOOD:

1) Jrue Holiday, 19pts/8reb/12ast/3TO. At some point I’m going to have to stop commending Holiday for stat lines like this. He’s averaging 18pts, 9.5 ast, and 4reb. At some point we’ll have to just call this a Jrue Holiday game, and that is an awesome thing.

I also love the rhythm of his offensive attack, he looks for his shot early after the starting unit inevitably craps the bed; he look to dish, defend, and save his energy in the third, then he takes over at the finish.

2) Ball Control: Sixers seem to have addressed their early season turnover problem. Only 8 tonight.

3) Mysterious Stat Line of the Night: Dorrell Wright. released from his Carbonite prison,Wright posted a puny 3 points and 4 rebounds, but an insane plus 19 as an undersized 4 in the Sixers 4th quarter smallball swarm.

 

Which leads us too the non-Swaggy storyline of the game…

4) Doug Collins surrenders and makes sweet, sweet love to Smallball: granted it took an embarrassing performance from our frontcourt to get us there,  Helpless, “On rollerskates” (as Collins aptly described it) against the Raptors pick and roll attack. Doug rolls out the smallest basketball lineup I’ve ever seen to trigger the comback.

How could something that feels SO GOOD, be bad? Let’s be naughty Doug. let’s be naughty…

How Small Were They?

8:12 to go in the game, down 7. The  76ers rolls out a laughably small lineup of Thad Young at Center (!), Wright at PF,   Richardson at SF, Nick Young at SG, and Holiday on the point. To reiterate, now only were the Sixers playing without a center, they were PLAYING WITHOUT A POWER FORWARD. For over 8 minutes.

What happens? the 28th ranked offense in the league runs all over the Raptors, scores 26 points in 8 minutes. Jason Richardson’s dramatic fastbreak And-1 came after a Raptors made basket. As I mentioned after the disspiriting loss to the Pistons. This line-up could be played against half the teams in the league and can Flat. Out. Score. Let’s see some more of this please…

THE BAD:

1) Evan Turner, why do you torture me so? After a breakthrough looking performance against the Cavs, Turner looked bad on D, soft on the boards, and out of control down the stretch. After two horrendous, failed, Hero-ball drives he was benched in the 4th. He didn’t participate in the Sixers game winning run (though I think there is a real home for him in this small line-up…)

2) Spencer Hawes, I really don’t have much more to say about this guy. He is an embarrassment defending the perimeter,  and he pound for pound the worst screen setter in the league, people run through him like he’s a hologram. kind of like this

If he’s not making his jumper, 9 times of out 10 he’s a disaster.

THE WEIRD:

1) Jason Richardson gets kicked in the head on a loose ball and sprawls out under the Raptors basket. Sixers try to give a foul to stop the game, but the Raptors fumble the ball back to the Sixers at midcourt before the foul is given. What do the Sixers do? Run a slow motion 2 on 1 fast break around their fallen teammates body. All the extra passing to avoid stepping on Richardson was uncomfortable and humorous.

THE UGLY:

1) Pick and Roll and Transition Defense, ugh.

Let’s start with this play. Turner gets back, Richardson inexcusably admires his missed three (really soaks it in), the other three Sixers get caught in the paint not doing much of anything. The result, fast break dunk for the Raptors.

And this play. Linas Klieza seals off two Sixers standing 10 feet away from each other on a single drive. Evan Turner’s heartless poke at the ball as Lowry blows by is especially galling.

The starting unit is getting hammered at both ends of the court, almost nightly. Collins cryptically alluded to “changes” coming in tonight’s game, but I have no idea where he goes with this.

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