Why this hypnotically revolting video of the Surinam toad “body-hatching” a hundred small toads out of it’s perforated back? For those of us who have been watching Sixers games lately, I suspect nature’s most disturbing birth process might feel oddly familiar.
Yes, this 76ers team has finally surrendered it’s foolish vanity and embraced their true Mutter museum nature. Birthing without a doubt, the most deformed and aesthetically displeasing sight the NBA has seen in quite some time.
(And yes I’m not forgetting Drew Gooden’s octopus chin)
Lost in the carnage is the quiet fact that the Sixers have gone 5 and 2 during this homestand and held oppenents to a staggeringly spare 81 points per game on 38% shooting. for comparison the leagues best point defense, the Memphis Grizzlies, allow 90 points per game, and the leagues best field goal percentage defense, the Indiana Pacers, surrender 42% from the field.
Conclusion: While the soft schedule must be noted, the Sixers are playing absolutely disgusting (in a good way) defense, and combined with their absolutely disgusting (in a baby toads hatching from your back kind of way) offense, the games have been pretty disgusting.
Alas, this stretch of play sheds some light on the tragic hubris of Doug Collins. One of the elite defensive coaches in the league, who seems to have no interest in acquiring defensively skilled basketball players. He has so much confidence in his system that he thinks the talent of of his players is basically irrelevant.
And hey, maybe he’s right, as he has somehow polished this pile of turds into a top ten NBA defense (hard to believe, but true). The tragic part is that, seduced by a silky jumper, he sacrifices a chance at elite defense in a inept pursuit of offense, something he has rarely been able to provide in his coaching career.
In 11 seasons as an NBA head coach he has produced 6 top ten defenses (and 8 in the top 11), but has only placed an offense in the top 10 twice. Despite coaching 3 years of Young Jordan, 2 years of Old Jordan, and 3 years of Sprite-drinking Grant Hill.
The GrowthPlates supposition is that if the Sixers are ever going to compete with Doug Collins as coach, he should stop the turd polishing, start shopping for rim protection, build a truly elite defense, and not give a crap if they can’t shoot.
In fact, elite defense has been the strategy of every team that has competed in the last decade without a transcendant star. see the 2004 Pistons (#2 defense, #18 offense) and the 2012 Celtics (#1 defense, #27 offense).
On To the Games!
Game #1: Indiana Pacers
Sixers play the NBA’s top defense and get absolutely smothered. An 88 to 69 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
The pacers were playing the third game of back to back to back, and thier sheer exhaustion kept the Sixers in the game into the 2nd half, trailing 34 to 37 at the break. But then the Pacers got tough, and the Sixers packed it in, with the game basically over 6 minutes into the 3rd.
Kwame Brown played 6 effective seeming minutes against Roy Hibbert before getting benched the rest of the game. No suprise, the 7’3 Hibbert had his way against the 6’9 Lavoy Allen tallying 18pts/14rebs/5blks. Ouch.
Jrue was bad, Turner was terrible, but the Sixers saw some half decent play from the bench of Lavoy Allen, Moultrie and Dorell Wright. Yes, I said something nice about Arnett Moultrie
Here’s a look at the new style Sixers D, tallying 3 blocks before Moultrie calls for and gets the Oop on the other end.
Moultrie’s not great, but compared to Hawes and Allen the kid looks like Blake Griffin. Showing the ability to actual finish over an oppenent.
Game #2: Charlotte Bobcats
Sixers get to play another ragdoll oppenent, and find another doubledigit victory. An 87-76 WIN over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Damn, that team is bad. here are the 2 points of note:
1) Lavoy Allen somehow grabs 22 REBOUNDS. WHAT?! On average it takes about 5 games for Lavoy to grab 22 boards. We are seeing good Lavoy, everything in modulation.
2) Shelvin Mack we hardly knew ye. Sixers back-up point gaurd roulette continues, as Jeremy Pargo joins the 10 day contract parade. You perhaps remember the The Good Samaritan from his 28 point outburst against the Sixers in November.
Here is his 12 points and 6 assists off the bench
The former Maccabi Tel Aviv star can actually get into the paint and run an offense. WIERD. Pargo drew 9 free throw attempts against Charlotte, something no Sixer has done in a month. Let’s go Pargo!
Perhaps he will provide some relief to the leagues ugliest squad…