For the second straight game Mo Cheeks leaned on his veteran bench warmer, Donyell Marshall, in the fourth quarter. For the second straight night, Donyell delivered. He hit 5/7 from the floor all told, including 3/5 from downtown. Unfortunately, his 13 points and 5 boards weren't nearly enough. The rest of the team provided little help.
The only highlights I can really dig out of the rest of the team's play came at the free throw line, where Miller and Iguodala combined to shoot 16/17. Of course the rest of the team shot a pitiful 6/12.
As inept as the offense was, the Sixers were still in this game. I can't really tell you how, I guess it was because they got to the line so much. The reason they lost was their inability to defend the three (if you're a pessimist) or New Jersey's unconscious shooting from range (if you're an optimist). New Jersey hit 11 threes, 9 in the second half. They hit them early in the clock, late in the clock, with no one in their face, with a man in their face. It didn't matter who was shooting them, they were going down. To be honest, though, most of the looks were wide open.
In fact, on back-to-back possessions Andre Miller stood 5 feet away from Devin Harris and dared him to shoot from beyond the arc. Both times he swished them. That's just lazy.
Heading into this back-to-back on the schedule you had to think the Sixers would come out with one win, one loss, at best. They managed to do that, although not in the way you would've predicted.
Cross your fingers that Elton Brand is back on Wednesday, because I don't want to have to watch any more minutes with Reggie Evans and Theo Ratliff in the front court. It's painful.
If Brand does come back, at least we got one positive from his absence. Mo gave Donyell a chance and hopefully he's earned himself some burn when the roster is healthy.Player of The Game:
The LeBrons on Wednesday.Future Project:
Thad has 12 touches (8 shots) in the first half, 10 touches (3 shots) in the second half.