The 42-21 fourth quarter of tonight's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies has left me feeling numb. To cough up a 21-point lead at home in that manner, well, I'm not even sure what kind of learning experience that is for the young guys. It's just unacceptable. Let's take a quick look at the charts and a quicker look at what went wrong.
Player of The Game:
- Over the first 8:59 seconds of the third quarter, the Sixers outscored the Grizzlies 26-9. Over that stretch, Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday accounted for 21 of the 26 points by either scoring themselves, or assisting on made field goals by someone else. At the 3:05 mark, Jrue set Brand up for a perfect look at an uncontested 13-footer on the baseline. Brand missed thee shot and Iguodala grabbed the offensive rebound. Then Doug Collins called a timeout with 3:01. For the life of me, I can't figure out why. The Sixers were absolutely rolling at that point. Memphis hadn't scored in over two-and-a-half minutes, the Sixers offense was clicking, the defense was stifling. Memphis was on the verge of quitting. Anyway, Collins removed both Jrue and Iguodala during that timeout, and from that point on, Memphis outscored the Sixers 50-24. I'm not blaming the loss on that timeout, obviously. It was the horrible basketball played in the fourth quarter that cost the Sixers the game, I'm just not sure why Collins took a timeout when it was the other team that was clearly reeling.
- I can't go into any kind of depth about the fourth quarter, the wound is still fresh, but I will assign a little bit of blame. Check out these numbers:
- Spencer Hawes - 3
- Elton Brand - 3
- Jrue Holiday - 2
- Thad Young - 1
- Tony Battie - 1
- Shot clock violation - 1
That's how the 11 turnovers in the fourth broke down. 11 turnovers in 12 minutes. This from a team that leads the league in fewest turnovers/game. They only attempted 14 shots in the quarter. Unbelievable.
- Lou Williams is your player of the game, simply because he wasn't charged with a single turnover (though he was responsible for the shot clock violation in the fourth).
- One head-scratcher that stuck with me from the fourth quarter. After Meeks' miracle four-point-play to draw the Sixers to within one at 94-95, Doug Collins subbed Elton Brand in for Jrue Holiday prior to the second free throw. There were 6.4 seconds left on the clock at the time, plenty of time to get the ball into the front court for a game-tying three, or maybe even game-winning three if the Grizzlies missed the second free throw. I realize you want to make sure you secure the rebound, but with no timeouts remaining, Collins removed his point guard from the game, a point guard who had hit 4/5 from three-point range in the game. I don't get that at all. Of course, it didn't matter because Tony Battie heaved a pass out of bounds all the way down at the other end of the court. Just unbelievably poor personnel choice and execution by the guys on the floor for what could've been a disaster-averting play at the end of the game.
- Speaking of Jrue, he still hasn't really played a complete game since Iguodala returned. Tonight, his defense was there, and he shot the ball extremely efficiently, but the turnovers were a killer.
vs. Denver, Sunday night at 6pm