Just one day without lamenting the ramifications of this win, that's my proposal. Forget about how important losses are and just revel in what was an excellent game of basketball and hopefully a glimpse of what will fuel this team in the future (Jrue and Iguodala). Spend your Saturday thinking about the game on the court we saw Friday night, the other stuff, well it can wait until Sunday.
I'm having trouble picking my favorite sequence from the game. There are two worthy candidates. Actually, there were probably more, but I'm going with these two.
1. Iguodala is bringing the ball up the floor, he makes a lazy pass to the wing that gets picked off. He immediately turns and hustles back on defense, Atlanta still has a two-on-one. Crawford tries to throw a lob to Josh Smith, but he didn't realize Iguodala is one of the few guys who can get up like Smith. AI9 picks the pass off and immediately pushes the ball up the floor, he hits Kapono for a wide-open three as he crosses midcourt, but he never stops running. Kapono's three rims out, Iguodala grabs the rebound one-handed about 5 feet from the hoop and windmills it home for a follow dunk.
2. Jrue is applying pressure along the sideline, and deflects a pass. It's clearly headed into the scorer's table until Iguodala comes from out of nowhere, leaps in the air, saves the ball behind his back and goes flying into the stands (landing in Holly Robinson-Peete's lap). The ball gets pushed into the front court, Kapono is again hit for a wide-open three, which he again misses. Meanwhile, Iguodala extricated himself from the front row, and hustled back down the floor. This time he grabs the offensive rebound and lays it back in. No dunk needed.
I think I'm going to have to go with the second, mainly because it wasn't started with a turnover and it featured excellent work by both of the core two, as I'm going to call them from here on out.
Let's get right down to it. Holiday and Iguodala took turns dominating this game on both ends of the floor. Jrue's final line of 13 points, 2 boards, 12 assists, 7 steals and only 2 turnovers was nothing short of brilliant. Iguodala fell one assist short of a triple-double and scored 25 points on only 12 shots. Each had a weak area in their games, Jrue was only 4/12 from the floor, Iguoala missed 5 of 10 from the line.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Jason Kapono and what had to be the game of his life. 33 minutes, 4 threes, 3 steals and 5 boards (in other words, 2 more defensive boards than Elton Brand grabbed in 37 minutes).
We touched on this a bit in the comments recently, but the team doesn't appear to be getting hurt by Kapono's defense, and his shooting certainly seems to have opened the lane up for drives, and maybe cleared a little space for Jrue to operate off the pick-and-roll as well.
I still haven't heard why Speights was in the starting lineup instead of Dalembert, and I'm not even sure I care. If you had told me Speights and Kapono were in the starting lineup and the Sixers were going to hold Atlanta under 100 points, I would've called you a liar.
Anyway, go out, enjoy your Saturday. If you need to devote any time to analyzing the Sixers, just look at last night's game in a vacuum. We'll be back at it on Sunday.