There was nothing impressive about the first three quarters. The Sixers defense was lackluster, their offense was scattered and almost lazy, their energy was sporadic, at best. That all changed at the beginning of the fourth. The Sixers erased a double-digit deficit and took down the Hawks.
Player of The Game:
- It's great that the Sixers came back to win this game, but I would've preferred to see a better effort on the defensive end in the first half. For some reason, the Hawks only used 7 players on the second night of a back-to-back. All the Sixers really needed to do was stay within striking distance, then let their fresh legs take over once ATL ran out of steam. That's essentially what they did.
- That being said, I can't understate how dramatic Thad's effect was on this game. He was a dynamo on both ends of the floor. His tremendous energy lifted the entire team and he put Atlanta to sleep. He was literally two steps quicker than anyone else, on either team. Great game for your Player of The Game. It was also nice to hear him say he hopes to be able to play for Doug Collins beyond this year after the game.
- One guy who probably has different feelings toward Collins right now is Evan Turner. Turner played only 3 minutes tonight, while Andres Nocioni played 15. I guess Collins wasn't blowing smoke in his comments about relying on veterans down the stretch.
- Andre Iguodala really looked gimpy out there tonight. He clearly was not himself, and it has to be a concern if that's how he looks after five days off. After the game, he said he would need to adjust his game, but I think they're probably going to have to sit him down at some point. One play in particular was downright scary. He was guarding Joe Johnson in the corner, Johnson faked baseline, then drove to the middle of the floor. Iguodala changed direction quickly and immediately came up lame, hopping on his good leg. Terrible, terrible sign. Of course, he still put Joe Johnson on his list, again, even on one leg. Johnson was 5/14 from the floor for 13 points to go along with his 4 turnovers and 5 fouls.
- Jrue got off to a great scoring start, but got torched by Hinrich on a bunch of open threes. He also had two terrible turnovers in a row, but he recovered to take better care of the ball. Probably the most questionable thing Collins did all night was to substitute Lou in for Jrue with the Sixers up by 9 and 2:14 left in the game. I just don't get that move at all. Jrue only played 31 minutes tonight, and he wasn't in any kind of foul trouble.
- Fewer minutes for Jrue, almost no minutes at all for Turner. Something to keep an eye on as our young guys obtain the valuable experience of a playoff push/series.
- Whether the Hawks simply ran out of gas or the Sixers bashed their heads in with intense pressure in the fourth is immaterial at the end of the night. They needed a win, they got a win. Now they need to rest up again, because they head to Miami on Friday looking to go four games over .500 for the first time this season.
- Almost forgot to mention Jodie Meeks. 5/6 from the floor. 5/6 from three. 15 points. Excellent.
: @ MIA, Friday night
The Sixers picked up a full game on ATL by beating them (2.5 out of the #5 slot), they also picked up a full game on the Knicks who wilted against the Magic in New York, dropping their fourth in a row (2 games above the #7 seed, now).