Well, it was sort of a fun game to attend. The Sixers made about 20 different runs to get back into this game, and it seemed like each one was killed by a corner three by the Knicks. When they weren't hitting threes, Amare Stoudemire was hitting everything he threw toward the rim. In the end, it was a split home-and-home and a lost opportunity.
(Charts coming later, probably tomorrow night)
Just a few thoughts tonight. I haven't had a chance to read the game thread, or watch the replay on TV since I got home, so this is just firsthand stuff from the game.
- Jrue seems lost to me. On the offensive end, he seems skittish. On the defensive end, he'll play great for a couple of possessions, then have a lapse. Sometimes, the lapse comes in the same possession as the great defense. One play in particular sticks in my mind. Felton had the ball, and Amare came out to set a high screen for him. Jrue fought over the screen one way, then fought over it again the other way. Then Felton passed the ball to Amare about 22 feet from the hoop, and Jrue just completely fell asleep. He didn't double Amare hard, he just sort of stood there, Felton drifted about 10 feet away, Amare hit him with a pass for a perfect look at a three before Jrue could recover. Overall, I thought he was much more effective on the defensive end than he was on Friday, but that wasn't the only lapse.
- Turner and Thad, but especially Turner, were unbelievably lazy about closing on the three-point shooters. This team has had a philosophy all season long that they close hard and chase those guys off the three point line, then let the rest of the defense react if they get by off the dribble. Today, they closed slow, they kept their feet and they didn't really even challenge the threes. It killed them, and Collins wound up yanking Turner for it in the fourth quarter, probably two or three shots too late.
- Brand was unbelievable offensively, he's your player of the game for the second straight game, but they really could've used his help on the defensive glass. He was absent in that category.
- The MVP chants for Amare are really a bit much.
That's pretty much all I've got. It killed the Sixers when Iguodala went out with his second foul early in the first, then his third foul late in the second. I believe they were -15 in those two stretches.
The Sixers fell 2 wins shy of the .500 at 50 games goal, we're going to have to think of a new one.
Player of The Game:
Elton Brand, 28 points (10/14 FG, 8/10 FT), 5 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks.
@ Atlanta, Tuesday night.