If you asked 100 casual NBA fans (with neither PHI nor MIL loyalties) which duo is better: Andre Iguodala/Jrue Holiday or Brandon Jennings/Stephen Jackson, about 90 of them would say the latter. 17,281 people in Philadelphia got a first hand look at just how wrong those 90 people are today. The Sixers cruised to another double-digit win over the Bucks, 94-82, on MLK day. (game capsule)
Before we go any further, here's a look at the combined lines of the players I mentioned above:
- Iguodala + Jrue = 20/31 FG, 5/9 3P, 10 REB, 9 AST, 8 STL, 2 BLK, 3 TO, 2 PF, 45 PTS in 85 minutes
- Jennings + Jackson = 6/23 FG, 1/8 3P, 3/4 FT, 12 REB, 6 AST, 4 STL, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 5 PF, 1 TECH, 16 PTS in 68 minutes
And yes, one line was a direct result of the defensive play of the other. Just a masterful game for Iguodala/Jrue.
Here's your rotation chart. Not a lot of subs for Doug today, and no bit winners or losers in terms of rotations:
It was a great day at the WFC. There were a ton of kids in attendance, a really big, active crowd and the Sixers really didn't disappoint. In fact, I was impressed with Milwaukee. Every time I thought the Sixers were just going to blow their doors off, they found a way to get a hoop to keep their deficit to 10 or 12.
It's going to be tough for Collins to cobble together minutes when any one of Iguodala, Turner, Lou or Jrue is out, but I think Turner's absence might be felt more than the others. Turner plays the one, two and three pretty regularly, and he's the only legitimate backup Collins has at the three. Without him, today, the Sixers were left with only three guys to play the one and the two, and Nocioni had to man the three for 6 minutes too many. Turner needs to get better real fast.
I noticed Collins was taking some heat in the game thread for failing to use Vucevic, and I think that's fairly unwarranted. Or at least it's understandable why he didn't. Bogut was eating Hawes alive the entire first half, and Milwaukee was really attacking that matchup. Collins went with the veteran to slow him down rather than throwing the rookie to the wolves. I thought it was a smart move, and it paid dividends. Battie is far from good, but he knows what he's doing in the post on the defensive end and he's tough/strong enough to compete with a guy like Bogut. Vucevic really isn't. There will be plenty of games for Vucevic to get the experience he needs, but this team needs to win games and I'm not sure the lesson to be learned from getting abused as a rookie outweighs the value of picking up this W. You may have been sacrificing one to get the other had you given Battie's 13 minutes to the kid. (Let him play against Jason Collins and Zaza on Friday).
Thad's energy was good in the second half, everything else was pretty bad in this game. He was a big reason the score was so close at the half. I thought Lou played a really bad game today, he was gunning and it was hurting the team. He hit a couple big jumpers, but the offense really died when he had the ball in his hands. Overall, this game was really a reversal of the normal script. The bench was pretty bad throughout, but Iguodala and Jrue were too much for the Bucks to handle, on both ends of the floor.
Speaking of Iguodala, there is something truly amazing going on. Iguodala's jumper is essentially either perfect or it's a brick this season. Literally, the shot either goes straight through (usually a swish, sometimes catching a bit of back rim) or it's a miss with a hard rebound. You never see the ball hang on the rim and drop, you never, ever see a shooter's roll. That's just a fact. So can anyone explain to me how his three-point shooting is now up to 43% on almost 4 attempts per game? It's not just the hot start, either. He's been hitting pretty consistently all year (3/5 today). I had two favorite plays today: (1) Iguodala drove the lane, drew three or four defenders, then kicked to Jrue for a wide-open three which he buried. (2) Collins ran that small-on-small pick-and-roll with Jrue/Iguodala, Jrue handling. Jrue took both defenders with him to the elbow and kicked the ball back to Iguodala for the wide-open three, which he buried. I love to see these guys playing off each other on the offensive end.
Player of The Game: Jrue. He was the best player on the court tonight. 24 points on 11/17 FG, 2/4 3P with 3 boards, 5 dimes and 5 steals.
Alarming Stat of the Game: Iguodala and Jrue attempted 31 field goals and combined for zero free throw attempts. Can't have that.
Team Record: 10-3
Up Next: vs. Denver, Wednesday night