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A Perfect Preseason

Perfect in terms of record, but hardly in terms of play. The Sixers polished off their abbreviated preseason schedule with a mostly-disheartening effort against the hapless Washington Wizards, and one hell of a finish.

Through 42 minutes of game time, the Sixers were treading water. With 6:06 left in the game, Doug Collins brought Jrue Holiday back into the game with the Sixers leading 83-82. To that point, Jrue had 9 points on 3/7 from the floor, 1/3 from three, 2/2 from the line, zero rebounds, 5 assists and 5 turnovers.

In the final 6:06 of the game, the Sixers scored 18 points. Evan Turner split a pair of free throws when he was intentionally fouled in the final minute of the game for one point. Nikola Vucevic hit a turnaround layup (assisted by Jrue) for another two, and Jrue scored the remaining 15 points. Holiday's line in the final 6:06:

  • 4/5 from the floor
  • 2/2 from three
  • 5/6 from the line
  • 3 rebounds (1 offensive)
  • 1 assist
  • 0 turnovers
  • 15 points

Jrue didn't carry the team to this win. He was the team. This was only a preseason game, and virtually meaningless in terms of winning and losing, but if this is the game that finally gets Doug Collins to take the ball out of Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala's hands when a close game is on the line, this will be a monumental game in the evolution of this team, and Jrue in particular.

We've seen flashes of brilliance from Jrue in these circumstances in the past, but always as an off-the-ball guy who hit a couple of shots. Not with the ball in his hands, taking the game over. If there's no magic bullet coming, no Dwight Howard walking through that door, this team needs someone currently on the roster to be capable of doing what Jrue did tonight. At least for this one preseason game, he was given the opportunity and he delivered. If you needed something to get excited about, that's it.

Overall, the team was flat, disorganized and just plain bad for long stretches of this game. They looked crisp on Friday night, tonight they couldn't get out of their own way on the offensive end and couldn't grab a defensive rebound to save their lives on the other end (66.7% defensive rebounding rate). The Wizards threw a zone/trap scheme at them and they had no answer. They settled for jumpers, didn't move the ball and turned it over way too much.

They shouldn't have been this close with the Wizards. It's good they pulled it out. It's great how they pulled it out, but they've got a lot of work to do over the next five days to be ready for opening night.

Speaking of work. Those of you who were present for the game thread, let me know what you thought of the new layout, technology. Any/all thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Player of The Game: Jrue, without a doubt, but Hawes gets credit for grabbing 13 boards in 22 minutes and only attempting 3 shots. Turner also had another solid game, scoring 13 points on 9 possessions used (5 on shots, 4 on FTs and 2 turnovers), to go along with 9 boards and 4 dimes.
Up Next: Games with meaning.
by Brian on Dec 21 2011
Tags: Basketball | Jrue Holiday | Sixers | Washington Wizards |