The Sixers came back from a 30-point deficit to cut the Mavs lead to 8 with about 8 minutes left in the game. They wound up losing the game 106-89, but you'd think the comeback would be a positive sign for this team, especially when they desperately need a silver lining. If you were thinking that the strong second half of tonight's game is going to carry over and kick start this Sixers team for a strong finish leading into the All Star break, you'd probably be wrong.
Something very, very bad happened in this game, if you're a Sixers fan (and you're rooting for them to win), Willie Green played significant minutes. "Garbage-time" Green did what he usually does, he came in when the game was a foregone conclusion, and heaved up shots. As usual, because the game was out of reach he was exceptionally efficient (he finished 5-11 from the field in 19 minutes). This, in-and-of itself wouldn't be a bad sign, but what it is going to lead to is. Without fail, whenever Green does this, Mo Cheeks thinks it means he deserves more minutes. I will be completely shocked if Green doesn't move up in the rotation over the next couple of games. What Cheeks never seems to realize is that Green only produces like this in garbage time. Look at tonight's game, once the Sixers got within striking distance, Cheeks left Green in there, and he killed the team's momentum with bad shots.
This is Willie Green's specialty, that's how he earned the nickname Garbage-Time Green. The next couple of games will tell us if Cheeks has really evolved as a coach. If he hasn't, the project lottery countdown is probably going to make it past the All Star break. If he has, well, I'll tip my cap to him, eat crow and admit I was wrong about Mo, but I don't think that's going to happen.
Iguodala continued his strong play, scoring 21 points on a night when he couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with his jumper. This is what separates the elite from the good. The elite put up points on nights when their jumper isn't falling, the good disappear. Iggy also chipped in with 9 rebounds, 5 assists and one of the best dunks of the season following a blown layup by Willie Green. I'm giving the player of the game to Samuel Dalembert. This guy is possessed, even when the game is out of reach he's going after every loose ball, contesting every shot. He finished with only 7 points, but 12 rebounds (5 offensive) and 2 blocks.
Check out this feature from NBA.com, now we can follow Willie Green from right here using the "Willie Green Widget" I hope it tracks horrible shots taken as a stat. He's got to be leading the league.