Let's get the post mortem out of the way quickly. Too many turnovers, couldn't defend the three, bad defensive rebounding, too much Chris Paul, too much Peja and too much Lou Williams.
The Sixers failed to get over .500 and they lost a game, a game they really should have won, by 15 points. Not the result we were looking for.
After the jump we'll look ahead, rather than back at this stinker.
One more quick note about tonight's game. Thad Young was the man on offense. 11/16 for 22 points and he really should've gotten at least five more plays called for him. The Hornets had no answer for him. Of course, with this team there's always bad to mix in with the good. Thad's dark side was 16 FGA without a single free throw attempt. It's hard to figure how a guy can go to the hoop and do pretty much all of his damage in the paint and not attempt a single free throw. I think it there are three factors working against him.
- His moves around the hoop are quick, he gets his shot off before shot blockers even leave their feet.
- He's elusive, which may be a kind way of saying he avoids contact when he's going up for his shot. This would be a much bigger problem if he was short-arming and/or pussy-footing his shots and they weren't falling. It looks to me like he spent his life figuring out how to go around defenders with slick moves and odd angles, rather than using his body to absorb contact and still finish.
- He's young. 20 year-olds don't typically get the calls like certain point guards.
OK, let's move on quickly and talk about the future. This was game two of the "get Elton ready" campaign. He was on the floor for 32 possessions, they ran the break on 9 of those possessions. Including three breaks that were started by EB's defense.
Again, EB didn't look tentative in the least. He did, however, look like he's not in game shape. He's missing his lift, like he was in the beginning of the season. On defense, he's really making a difference. He blocked a shot and played some excellent D on pick-and-roll situations. He forced Paul out to the timeline on several occasions and applied a really nice double.
Overall, I'm a little disappointed in the team. It seems to me like they're using these minutes for nothing more than to get some time under Elton's belt. He's rarely touching the ball in the half court, even though he had a monumental mismatch tonight. He touched the ball on only 8 of 32 offensive possessions. Again, it seemed like there was a conscious effort made to avoid running the offense through him in the post. The team played well with him on the court, his defense sparked quick runs in both halves. Unfortunately, each run was halted by a dagger three from the Hornets.
With an off day tomorrow, I'm hoping they'll increase EB's minutes significantly on Wednesday. He went from 13 minutes in the first game to 18 tonight. I'm looking for 25 minutes on Wednesday and then a return to the starting lineup the following game on Friday against the Wizards.
Now that he's on the court and appears to be healthy, it's time to start utilizing him. The main problem early in the season was trying to change the team to play EB's style. They've gone in the complete opposite direction now and he's been little more than a bystander out there. It's time to do it the right way. When EB is on the floor you run whenever you have the opportunity. When you're forced into the half court, he should touch the ball on 50% of the possessions, minimum.
Player of The Game: Thad
Team Record: 21-22
Up Next: @ Houston, Wednesday.