Looking back at the game thread, the venom spewed toward Lou Williams and Doug Collins for the late-game play calling and execution was both justified and almost immaterial to the outcome of the game. If the Sixers don't play about 40 minutes of pitiful defense, they win this game without breaking a sweat.
- The Sixers offense is not to blame for this loss. Even with the fruitless final five minutes or so, they still scored extremely efficiently and shot well for the entire game. They only turned the ball over 11 times for the game, once in the entire second half. They shared the ball well, 26 assists on 41 made field goals. Basically, they did more than enough on that end of the floor to win the game.
- On defense, though, I'm having a ton of trouble figuring out exactly what they took away from the Pacers. I mean, you can take one thing away even with terrible defensive players. You can clog the lane to take away inside scores. You can double the ballhandler to take away dribble penetration. You can refuse to help to take away threes. The Sixers seemed incapable of doing absolutely anything to stop Indiana from doing whatever they wanted, and it was a team-wide problem. Andre Iguodala was either rusty, still hurt or both. Granger ate him alive for a key hoop down the stretch in a one-on-one situation. That just doesn't happen. Ever. Jrue had a front row seat to see Collison either drive right down the middle of the lane or dump the ball off to a wide-open big on every single pick-and-roll the Pacers ran. Not entirely his fault, maybe not his fault at all, but you can't absolve a guy if his man is carving up your team. Lou Williams was thoroughly embarrassed by TJ Ford, of all people, on several occasions. Jodie Meeks didn't think it was necessary to keep an eye on Mike Dunleavy, at least not until Dunleavy had dropped 18 points on the Sixers in the blink of an eye. They didn't close out on three-point shooters, they didn't keep Indy off the offensive glass. The defensive star of the game was Marreese Speights. Need I really say more?
- Spencer Hawes played a total of 4:56. One brief stretch at the beginning of the game. One brief stretch at the beginning of the third quarter. Honestly, that was probably too much time.
- If you need positives, Speights played a decent defensive game (great for him). There was a stretch in the third quarter where he was really battling for rebounds and for position on the defensive end. He drew back-to-back charges which really helped the Sixers climb out of a deep, deep hole they dug for themselves.
- Evan Turner shot the ball well for the second night in a row. He even mixed in a couple of sweet passes (the best was to Thad who was rejected by Brandon Rush) and a few drives to the hoop with nifty finishes.
- Jrue was superb on the offensive end and the glass. He disappeared in the final stretch, why he disappeared is a question best left to Doug Collins. 19 points on 7/14 from the floor, 3/5 from three, 2/3 from the line with 7 boards, 8 assists and only 2 turnovers.
- Iguodala looked like a zombie out there at times. He clearly wasn't 100% and we really need to cross our fingers that it was rust limiting him, and not his achilles. 0/7 from the floor, 1/2 from the line. Only 1 point. He did have 7 assists and zero turnovers, but 1 point in 33 minutes pretty much negates that.
- If I had one question to ask Doug Collins, it would be what has happened to the solid defensive team we saw on the floor for over a month? If he gave me follow-up, I'd ask him why Jrue Holiday is only allowed to play the point during the first 43 minutes of the game?
- Oh, and one other question: What does Speights have to do to take the starting job away from Hawes?
Player of The Game: Marreese Speights. 14 points on 8 shots, 9 boards and 1 assist in 25 minutes of action.
Team Record: 15-23 Up Next: vs. MIL on Friday night.