First, the bad news:
- An 83-78 loss.
- Andre Iguodala, 4/17 from the floor.
- Only 2 assists for Andre Miller (averaging about 4 per game, which makes no sense to me.)
Now, the good:
- Rodney Carney, DNP Coach's Decision
- Calvin Booth, DNP Coach's Decision
- Willie Green, 25 minutes and Lou Williams, 31 minutes.
- Thaddeus Young, 9 minutes.
- Rip Hamilton, 4/16 from the floor.
- Outscored Detroit 24-19 in the 4th quarter.
- Iguodala, 10 points, including 2 threes in the fourth quarter.
- Lou Williams, on the floor for the entire fourth quarter.
- Thad Young and Lou Williams on the floor early in the first half, in a tight game.
Mo Cheeks is playing the young guys, and he's giving them important minutes. The Sixers went into the Palace tonight and hung with a veteran Pistons team (minus Rasheed Wallace, but still) throughout the game. The largest deficit came early in the fourth quarter (11 points), I'm sure the Pistons thought they wrapped the game up, but the Sixers came charging back. Andre Iguodala had the ball in his hands with an opportunity to tie it up with less than 10 seconds to go. You can't ask for much more than that in this situation.
Speaking of Iguodala. He was absolutely horrible for three quarters plus of this game. He hadn't hit a single jumper until mid-way through the fourth, yet Mo called his number again and again down the stretch. It would be easy to question this, especially with the play of Lou Williams recently (5/10 from the field tonight, for 15 points), but it was the right move. Iguodala is the best player on this team, he's the leader of this team, and he needs to be the guy to step up and take/make the big shots. He did it once tonight (to pull the Sixers within one with less than 20 seconds to go). I don't care how bad of a game he's having, he's your guy, you have to ride him win or lose.
Back to the young guys, Cheeks only used an 8-man rotation tonight, with Jason Smith, Thad and Lou being his only subs. I love it, mainly because it meant Carney, Booth and Ollie rode the pine, but it could come back to bite him tomorrow night, when the Sixers play host to the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors will run you to death. Luckily, the Sixers do have plenty of young legs to lean on, but the Warriors are used to playing at a break-neck pace (both teams will be playing the ass-end of a back-to-back). It should be a good match up, especially considering the Sixers are holding opponents to 88 ppg at home.
No help is expected from Kyle Korver, who probably won't be back from his groin injury until Tuesday night.
Lou Williams is playing like a star right now. Not a good player in this league, not just a starter, but a star. He needs to be in the staring lineup, and it needs to happen now. Willie Green's final line wasn't horrible tonight, but if you watched the game you realized just how useless he is. I counted three airballs from Garbage Time, all on forced shots early in the shot clock, not to mention his 4 turnovers and 0 assists. Just a pitiful performance (5 garbage cans, though I'm still holding off on the graphic because I'm praying Mo removes him from the starting lineup tomorrow night.)
One last note: Andre Iguodala made some comments about changes needing to be made the other night. I didn't write about it, mainly because I wanted to see what became of them. Well, it looks like he was saying the same thing I've been saying
, the Sixers need to rethink their starting lineup. It's pretty clear that Lou needs to be inserted, and maybe Jason Smith as well.Player of The Game
: Lou Williams, 15 points, 5 boards, 4 assists in 31 minutes.Team Record
Before you go jumping off an bridges, Sixers fans, the schedule has been extremely unkind thus far. By my count, the Sixers have lost only 1 game they really should've won (@ the Wizards, only because Arenas was out) and they've won 1 game they should've lost (@ Chicago). The schedule will get easier, and I think it's good for this team to be sorting out their problems against tougher competition early in the season, it will pay dividends when teams like the Knicks come up on the schedule.