Sixers win the craziest game of the season! A 108 101 OVERTIME WIN against the Toronto Raptors, in a marathon comeback that basically took the entire game…
I for one was curious to see how the Sixers would respond to Doug Collins’ fukishima diiachi meltdown after the blowout loss to the New Orleans Hornets.
They responded by going in a 8 to zero hole to start the game, trailed by 14 at the start of the 2nd, and by 18 at the half. giving up 60 in the first 24 minutes.
How bad was the defense? The Raptors Pick & Roll attack went a full 8 minutes without a missed field goal, scoring 20 points in that span, and opening up a double digit lead…
Showered with boo’s as they went into the half, one had to wonder if this team had in fact quite on Doug Collins, as another degrading, confidence sapping loss, stared them in the eyes…
Then a wierd thing happened, in spite of trailing by 18, in spite of weeks of lethargic play, In spite of not being any good, this Sixers team decided it wanted to win THIS BASKETBALL GAME. A furious period of play-off intensity defense held the raptors to 5 of 18 shooting, and just 13 points in the quarter, clawing all the way back to take a 1 point lead at to start the fourth.
But alas, the weary Sixers, spent from the sisyphean climb had no answers for the Raptors counter-punch, who re-opened a 10 point lead against the dead-legged Sixers with 5 minutes to play.
The Sixers could have been satisfied with a moral victory of sorts, not giving up in the face of a seemingly insurmountable odds. But two Sixers refused to quit, Thad Young and Jrue Holiday drove thier teammates onward, diving for loose balls, attacking the glass, punishing any Raptor rolling to the paint.
It got so crazy that Spencer Hawes screamed “YOLO!” while successfully executing a pick. TWICE. both times getting his teammates an open look and bucket.
But once again for all thier moxy, the Sixers found themselves trailing by 2, with the raptors inbounding, 5 seconds to play, the Sixers need to pull off the nearly impossible task of stealing the inbound to have a chance… and they do!
Smothering the Raptors on back to back inbound attempts, the Sixers force Calderon to thread the needle down the out of bounds line. That and a (silent whistle on a) surreptitious shove from Nick Young would give Jrue Holiday a chance to do this…
No Call on the obvious foul, But Holiday would not be denied! OVERTIME!
The extra frame wasn’t even in question as Jrue Holiday scored all 12 of the Sixers points, putting away the disspirited Raptors, and sending the remnants of the home crowd into a frenzy…
1) I must admit, I’ve had some reservations about the All Star annointing of Jrue Holiday. I’ve wondered if this is just a “big numbers on a bad team” situation. Is he really a point gaurd? Can he control the flow of the game? On a better team with the ball in his hands less, would he seem as special?
These are the games that put those fears to rest, as Holiday flat out led the Sixers to this unlikely victory. All told, he goes for 33pts/14ast/5reb/3stl and just 3 Turnovers
2) Thaddeus Young, showed the all over the court energy that had been absent for the last month. A one man wrecking crew during the defensive charge of the 2nd half, and going for 27pts/14rebs why he was at it…
3) Nick Young decides to do something other chuck jumpers, like play defense. for instance. Implausibly soffocating that inbound play which was just as crucial as the Holiday jumper.
4) I mentioned it above but I will mention it again. Spencer. Hawes. Screens. Here’s spencer postgame
“I don’t know what got into me, those guys were really sweaty, and muscly, and it’s flu season, I had every reason in the world to avoid touching them, like I normally do.
But It was wierd, I set a pick, and I… I don’t know… I was more animal than man… I have so many mixed emotions about it, but I guess it helped us win the game, so that’s a positive…”
1) Dorell Wright. When I described the furious high intensity charge of the 2nd half, rest assured that Wright had nothing to do with it. the only statistical evidence that he was on the court is an 0-1 in the box score. A running hook in the 2nd with a disgusted Tom Mcguinness offering “He’s about 2 for 30 on that shot this year…”
2) Paging Evan Turner? Musters just 8 points in 39 minutes. Unforgivably his defense and rebounding wasn’t thier either. The Prince of Pout is back…
3) Kwame Brown DNP SINUS INFECTION. ok, maybe that’s not a bad thing…
Next up the Spurs on MLK Day!