The Sixers had every opportunity to put the Bulls away early tonight, but they failed to do so. When you give a good team, at home, a second life, they're going to make you pay for it more often than not. Tonight, the Sixers handed a game to the Bulls. (game capsule).
Here's your rotation chart. Check out the second half:
This is going to be short, mainly because I'm growing tired of the same old trends:
- There's no way to sugarcoat this. When the opposing team has bigs who are willing to play with even a modicum of physicality, the Sixer centers completely wilt. Spencer Hawes' finesse game is pitiful to watch. This isn't a recent trend in the two games since he returned from the achilles injury, even when he was playing out of his mind early in the season, he was the same exact player. When you look at his stat line, and see 7 defensive rebounds in 22 minutes, you probably say, "He wasn't so bad on the glass tonight." But that's so unbelievably misleading. Yes, he grabbed some defensive boards, but I swear he gave up at least that many offensive boards by being the slowest guy out there, the softest guy out there, or both. If I never have to watch him start at center for the Sixers again, it'll be too soon. Vucevic isn't much better, either. I'd prefer to see Lavoy and Battie split the minutes at the five, at least they won't get pushed around.
- Turner had his first bad game since taking over as the team's starting two guard, and the frustration showed. He got hit with a tech (which I think might be a problem in the long run if he's getting 35 minutes/night. He's got a short fuse). Iguodala wasn't much better. The two wings combined to shoot 5/18 for 13 points.
- Lou is shooting 28.6% (10/35) over the three-game losing streak. He's a hot/cold shooter, always has been. It's up to Collins to limit his burn (and his role) when he can't hit the broad side of a barn, because his defense is a huge negative. Tonight, he stuck with Lou late, although Turner wasn't exactly giving him much of an alternative option.
- Elton Brand was completely MIA in this game. He was "covered" by Carlos Boozer for a decent chunk of time and only managed to get up two shots (hitting one). That's horrible.
- There are nights when I think this team would be completely unwatchable if not for Thad Young. That guy absolutely always gives everything he has when he's on the floor. Re-signing him is probably the only positive personnel move the team has made in the Rod Thorn era.
Player of The Game: Jrue. Congrats on the first 30-point game of his career, and also the first 30-point game for a Sixer this season (also kind of fitting that they lost, considering how they need to play to win games). It wasn't an efficient 30 (27 shots, 4 FTA), but it was more efficient than the rest of the team was, so it's not like he was hurting them by gunning. If he had hit one or two of the open threes he had in the fourth, it might've been enough to take the game. Jrue's floor game was much improved tonight, if he had big men with half of a pulse he would've probably had 9 or 10 assists. It's not all rosy, though, Jrue was victimized by CJ Watson's shooting a couple times too many on the defensive end. One of the threes definitely wasn't his fault, but on a couple of them he was just slow in closing out on him. Make him a driver.
Team Record: 25-20
Up Next: @ CHA, Monday night
Jrue's Goal: Pass tonight. 4FTA to 3 TOs. (4-13-2 since inception).