Just crushing it! Here come the 76ers!
After going an incredible two months without winning consecutive games, The suddenly berserk 76ers have compiled 3 straight semi-blowout wins, and won 4 of their last 5 contests (with the lone loss being a last second heartbreaker to the very good Memphis Grizzlies).
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???
Apparently, all the Frank-Frazetta-loving Sixers needed was a Sword and Sorcery home-stand against the Wizards, Kings, and Magic to find their inner barbarian. The result has been 4 defense-first thrashings in the span of the week, with the Sixers surrendering only 76 points per game in those victories.
Once again… HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???
This sudden change in fortune is really the confluence of 3 seperate events
1) The injury to Jason Richardson and the generally suckiness of the team compelled Collins to make his first effective line-up change of the year, moving mercurial, basketball mystic Nick Young; and derided, anti-hero center Spencer Hawes, into the starting line-up.
Yes! More dribble handoffs!
While it may just be addition by subtraction, somehow moving two bad defensive players into the starting line-up has remade the Sixers as a defensive juggernaut. Go figure.
And yes, I just implied Spencer Hawes is a significant defensive upgrade over somebody. BLASPHEMY!
2) The Sixers have completed the 7 Stages of Grief and finally reached acceptance of the fact that they are a very, very bad at getting a basketball in a hoop. It’s about time. Despite being the NBA’s 28th ranked offense after 3 full months of basketball, the Sixers were STILL trying to shoot their way to victory. HA!
But they’ve now made their peace with thier limitations, and seemed to be focus on winning by preventing the other team from scoring. The result has been classic Doug Collins my-eyes-are-bleeding final scores of 92- 84, 89- 80, and last night’s very special 78 -61 victory.
3) And before we get too excited, let us also note that the Sixers are currently feasting at the NBA’s chum-bucket with an 8 game homestand against some of the leagues worst teams. But after what we’ve seen the last couple months, I am not complaining.
ON TO THE GAMES!
GAME #1: Sacramento Kings
Sixers jump out to a big lead early and cruise against the rudderless Sacremento team. A 92 to 84 WIN.
before we get into the breakdown, let’s take a minutes to offer our prayers to poor, poor, fans of the Sacramento Kings.
Owned by the Maloof brothers, a pair of meddling, buffoonish (and now bankrupt) Casino heirs; the Galaxy-Class D-bags have lorded over a decade of mismanagement that has reduced this once proud franchise to a laughing stock, and a sale and relocation to wealthier Seattle seems immenent.
A screw job to one of the NBA’s most loyal fanbases.
Amazingly, these guys are as big a pair of tool boxes as they look. No small feat.
Back to the game…
Another matchup of misfits of the 2010 draft, Crazy Demarcus Cousins duels with pouty Evan Turner. The conclusion? That the 2010 draft class really sucked.
Cousins grabs 12 boards, but only nets 12 points on 13 shots (against Spencer Hawes, no less…). Evan gets 8 points and 6 assists but commits 4 turnovers. eh…
Here Turner demonstrates his notoriously lousy fast break abilities as they go head to head.
And here’s the Prince of Pout getting abused by Chester PA’s Tyreke Evans, his pitiful whines perfectly skewered by the Kings broadcast team…
and here’s a nasty euro-step from Tyreke Evans, on his way to 29 points.
inspite of Tyreke Evan’s magic, and bad games from Jrue and Evan; the Sixers win easy powered by Young & Young. an incredible line from Thad Young of 23 points and 15 tough rebounds, and a breezy 20 points from Nick Young.
GAME #2: Orlando Magic
Sixers take on the Magic and face the revelation that is Nic Vucevic, the young center the Sixers surrendered in the ill-fated Bynum swap. Nonetheless, the resurgent Sixers D shuts down the Magic and the Sixers sail to a 78 -61 WIN.
In the really funny battle to determine , Big Spence brought an uncommon ferocity to this match-up. Not yet, young pup…
Vucevic (The NBA’s 4th leading rebounder) demonstrated the boarding prowess that his garnered him national attention. The kid can rebound, grabbing 14 caroms in just 31 minutes.
But a fired up Spencer Hawes went for a season high 21pts and 14 rebs, and Vucevic’ painful lack of athleticism was on full display struggling on the peremiter and getting stuffed at the rim by floor-bound, 6’9 Lavoy Allen. HA!
Spencer won the battle, but I suspect he’ll lose the war. Vucevic has already developed one elite skill, rebounding and he plays stronger and tougher than Hawes and appears to be adding muscle each year. Unlike Hawes, he’ll have value on the court even when he isn’t hitting 20 foot jumpers.
This game featured two of the worst free throw shooting teams in recent memory, and they did not disappoint.
The Sixers are in last place with 12 makes a game, The Magic just ahead of them at 12.4. Last night the teams converted 9 free throws. COMBINED. This was aided by the fact the refs clearly wanted this brickfest to end.
The result was the game was an impossibly brief 1 hour and 51 minutes. Early Bedtime. AWESOME!
And here is a little Swag for good measure.
But now that we’ve covered all the joy of winning a couple basketball games, let’s get to the really bad news.
The heart and soul of the Sixers team,Thad Young injured his hamstring in the first half last night, fittingly, while diving for a loose ball with his team up double digits.. Could be out for 1 month. Did it just get cold in here?
Looks like we will be seeing a lot Arnett Moultrie, and maybe our lottery dreams may yet live. Sigh.
It was nice to win a couple basketball games…