The good news is that Evan Turner stepped up in his new role and looked the part of the number two pick in the draft. The bad news is that the Sixers did their best imitation of the Butler Bulldogs in the second half and kind of embarrassed themselves against a team they may face in the first round of the playoffs.
Charts (rotations later)
- If Turner plays like this for the next four games, he's going to be in the playoff rotation. I'm not going overboard, because it was only one game, and a blowout loss at that, but he was aggressive, and probably the best Sixer on the floor.
- As good as Turner was, Hawes was worse. Spencer was absolutely atrocious in every aspect of the game, and I really have a hard time figuring out how he led the team in field goal attempts with 14. I thought Collins should've gone to Battie or Speights in the second half when Hawes continued his ineptitude.
- If you want to make the case that Lou's absence was felt in this game, you're probably going to have to use some kind of ethereal measurement to prove it. Turner scored 21 on 14 shots (and 2/4 from the line), mostly creating for himself. If they get that from Lou, it's a very good game for him.
- Jrue was masterful in the first quarter until he picked up his second foul and was forced to the bench. He started the game 4/4 for 11 points. After returning about midway through the second, he was epically bad. 0/8 from the floor the rest of the way with a couple of airballs thrown in for good measure.
- Iguodala had about the worst touch I've seen from him all season. His decision-making was subpar as well. He did look healthier than I've seen him in the past couple of games, though. He was routinely pushing the ball and beating the Celtics down the floor during the team's only run in the second half, about midway through the third.
- Brand missed a handful of shots he normally hits.
- I thought Doc Rivers won the coaching chess game in this one, and that rarely happens to Doug Collins. When the Sixers went small, Rivers didn't try to out-small them, instead he went big and put Jeff Green at the three. Turner couldn't handle Green and the Celts used that matchup to pour points on the board, pretty much negating a brief offensive run at the other end. I don't expect Collins to be overmatched when the playoffs begin.
- If you need another positive takeaway, the Sixers were clearly off on the offensive end tonight. The Celtics are a very strong defensive team, and they forced some tough shots, but the Sixers missed an inordinate number of layups and clean looks on short jumpers. Had they shot their averages, this would've been a very close game, they were just off collectively. You probably shouldn't come away from this game saying, "The Sixers can't play with the Celts." It's more like, "The Sixers can't play with the Celts if they shoot like that."
- I found it really, really noticeable when Jodie wasn't on the floor tonight. The drives were there, but there was no one to kick to. The highlight of Turner's night, for me, was the corner three he hit. He needs to take that shot when he has it, and he's going to have it quite frequently.
- That's all I've got. Rest up. Huge game at home against the Knicks tomorrow night. They need the win if they want the #6 seed, plus we're going to see plenty of my favorite matchup in the Atlantic Division, Jrue vs. Toney Douglas.
Player of The Game: Turner
Team Record: 40-38
Up Next: vs. NYK, tomorrow night