I realize there have plenty of theoretically huge games for different emotional reasons, but tonight's matchup with the Knicks was really the biggest game this team has played all year. Seeding was on the line, finishing higher than a division rival, pride after the last two losses. Doug Collins should've had no problem getting his team up for this one. Well, they came out flat and disinterested and about 10 minutes of effort just isn't enough in this league.
Player of The Game:
- The New Jersey Nets scored 116 points on this Knicks team less than a week ago. The Raptors scored 118 points on them Tuesday night. I really can't get my mind around how the Sixers laid that big of an egg against this bad of a defense. 2/18 from three, 41.3% from the floor, 63.6% from the line. Just an unbelievably bad performance by the Sixers.
- Brand was a beast on the offensive end pretty much all night, he held up his end of the bargain. Thad singlehandedly brought the Sixers back from a 19-point deficit. You can't hang this one on either of them. Pretty much everyone else who stepped on the floor? Yeah, they all had a hand in it.
- Jrue is mired in a horrible, horrible shooting slump that came out of nowhere. Over his past three games he's shooting 30.6% from the floor and 30% from three. That wouldn't be such a big deal if the team didn't so desperately need his offense. The problem is that in the absence of Lou, Jrue is probably the best guy at the team at creating his own shot off the dribble. And he's doing a decent job of creating the shots, I don't think he's taken more than a handful of bad shots, he's just not hitting the shots he usually does. He's rushed around the hoop. His jumpers are rimming out (though they were missing everything late against Boston.) It's gotten to the point where he's turning down perfect looks from three, which may or may not be a good thing. He's got three games to snap out of it. I did think the rest of Jrue's game was pretty good tonight. Defensively, he did a good job, save for going under a couple screens on Toney Douglas. He finished with 7 boards and 8 dimes in 44 minutes. Wow, I didn't realize he played 44 minutes until just now.
- Iguodala's touch, what little there was of it, is completely gone. The knee is clearly hampering him on the floor, and the lack of practice is making his flawed jumper flawed and rusty. Again, this wouldn't be a huge deal if he wasn't still taking a bunch of jumpers, but he is.
- Spencer Hawes has completely reverted to being Spencer Hawes, and it's absolutely killing the team every time he's on the floor. He's so unbelievably soft around the hoop, he doesn't fight for rebounds, his jumper isn't falling. Essentially, he's a warm body out there just buying time until Collins can get Thad in there and move Brand to the five. The Sixers were +8 with Brand at the five tonight, -13 with Hawes.
- Evan Turner started out pretty well tonight, then disappeared. He was 2/8 from the floor with zero assists. He did grab seven boards, though.
- This was, by far, Jodie's worst shooting game of the year, and if you needed to point at one number to blame the loss on, I'd put it on Jodie shooting 0/8 from three. He literally got 8 great looks at it and didn't convert a single one.
- The thing that makes this game sting so much is that the Sixers played pitiful offensive basketball and they still should've won. The Knicks really are a bad team. Unfortunately, tonight the Sixers were worse.
Thad Young. 25 points on 16 shots and 7 boards in 31 minutes. Brand was a close second, but the Sixers lose this game by about 30 if Thad doesn't explode in the fourth quarter.
vs. TOR, Friday night