Lets get caught up on all the Sixers ball we missed in this 3 games in 4 nights blitz.
It started with a weekend trip to the dense and fetid tropics of Florida, first to pay homage to the mighty Miami Heat and then (like Doug Collins spiritual progenitor, Ponce De Leon) undertake a sworn quest for the fabled draft lottery ping pong balls of the Orlando Magic…
A 102 to 93 LOSS to the MIAMI HEAT
The Sixers managed not to embarrass themselves in this obvious loss of a game. Played them tight for 3 quarters before the defending champs and winners of a gazillion straight games decided that they weren’t going to lose to the god-damn Sixers, shutting the door with a 10 to zero run early in the 4th.
Here is what you missed:
1) A vintage jam play from 37 year old Ray Allen, reminesctent of nasty Milwaukee Bucks/Jesus Shuttlesworth Ray Allen. 4 for 4 for 9 points in 12 easy minutes
2) the insane highlight reel that is every single Lebron James game, even when held to a ho-hum 25pts/10reb/5ast performance
3) Look Dorell, you have some nice ink. But Birdman, you are not.
Amazingly the long, strange, (creepy) journey that has been the decade-long career of Chris “Birdman” Andersen will likely include him earning a championship ring. We’ll get to Birdman retrospective during one of the 12 match-ups between the Sixers and Heat this month…
4) Thad Young quietly continues the best season of his career, scring 25 points on Lebron James-esque 12 of 15 shooting. Finally forced to assume the mantle of starting power forward, Thad has responded with a career best rebound rate (12.3) a career best assist rate (9.8) and his usual effortlessly awkward offense (53% shooting and a miniscule 6.3 turnover rate).
Thad has established himself as the only non-Jrue-Holiday player worth keeping on this hellacious roster. Here is a pile of kittens…
5) Plus/Minus mysteries. The Holiday/Turner backcourt continued thier slumping ways. Jrue posting 9pts/13asts on an abysmal 3 of 11 shooting. Turner nets 10pts/5rebs/4asts on a not much better 4 for 13.
But here is where it gets wierd. in the 41 minutes that Holiday played the Sixers outscored the Heat by 4 points. In the 37 minutes Turner was on the floor the Heat OUTSCORED THE SIXERS BY 22!! How there such a huge differential when they played so many minutes together is hard to fathom.
Further note: despite Holiday’s recent bad play and the cacophony of losses, the Sixers are usually outscoring opponents when he is on the court,(+7 against the Hawks, +8 against the Celtics) supporting the observation that teams are trapping, doubling, and trying to force the ball out of his hands, even if it means open shots for the lesser Sixers.
A 99 to 91 LOSS to the ORLANDO MAGIC
The Sixers pull off another amazing loss, falling to the leagues 2nd worst team as they try desperately to lose.
Despite the heroic losing efforts of the Magic, until the NBA adopts English Premier League demotion rules and sends the Bobcats down to the D-League, the Charlotte boys have the #1 spot locked up. Sory, guys…
1) A torrid performance from the pride of Chester, PA; Jameer Nelson was the difference in this game. As the St. Joe’s legend went for 24 and 10, including 5 of 9 from deep.
Let’s take a moment to remember the amazing college career of this 5’11 freight train of a point guard.
During his Senior season, Nelson (along with backcourt partner, Delonte “Bananas” West) motored small, mid-major St. Josephs to an incredible #1 ranking, and a heartbreaking ELITE 8 loss to OSU in the NCAA tourney, as Nelson’s 19 foot buzzer beater came up short.
You can relive the whole game here, or just pick up the crazy finish at the 1 hour 12 minute mark.
2) What of Nic Vucevic? the great lament of Sixers fans did his usual thing. Grabbed 17 rebounds, scored 14 points on blah shooting, played below average defense, and continued to demonstrate his superiority to Spencer Hawes. WHATEVER.
3) Thaddues Young was again the best Sixer on the court, here is his 26pt/12reb/5stl performance
And, finally, A 106 to 97 WIN against the New Jersey NETS.
After pulling off the upset loss to lowly Orlando, the Sixers respond by stupidly winning on the 2nd night of a back to back against the playoff bound NETS. This one hurt.
Did Jrue Holiday go for 40? Did Evan Turner notch a triple double? How did this happen?
In the worst and most frustrating way possible, as….
1) Spencer Hawes just went and decided to play like a Center, 63 games into this young season. Posting a season best 24pts/10rebs/7ast/2blk performance, while making only one long jumper.
here he is setting one of his illusory picks, but then shocking the arena, by actually rolling to the basket for a slam. Hmm….
2) Damien Wilkins is the kind of solid, back-of-the-bench veteran that could be a fan beloved mascot on a contending team. On a cellar dweller, his deft and grizzled 10th man ways are wasted. but let’s show his some love for this righteous block…
3)While this massively hurts our position in the sardine tight draft board. It was kind of nice to send the Brooklyn NETS, black and silver bandwagonners (who packed the Wells Fargo Center) out with a loss.
I liked them better when the played in Newark. And the fans wore bags on thier heads…