The good news is this game was much more reminiscent of the way the Sixers played earlier in the season than their recent stretch of hopeless play. The bad news is that this was reminiscent of their early season play in that they did everything they could to lose a close game. (game capsule
So the Sixers last two losses (against two very different teams) were examples of the Sixers producing on the offensive end at a completely unsustainable level, and not being able to stop their opponents on the defensive end. At least they're finding new and interesting ways to flush this season down the toilet.
Here's your rotation chart. Note the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth:
If you were the type of person who liked to point fingers and needed to come up with a reason for this loss beyond the obvious (the team is in the worst kind of tailspin and desperately wishing for this season to end), you probably wouldn't need to look much further than the lack of rest. Last night, against Orlando, Doug Collins used an eight-man rotation. Tonight, against the physical Indiana Pacers, the Sixers rotations on the perimeter were uncharacteristically slow and sloppy. They were lazy on the defensive end, sagging into the lane, leaving shooters wide open on the perimeter. Tired legs? It looked like it to me, but I'm no doctor.
Anyway, the Sixers didn't play a particularly bad game, and Indy is the hottest team in the league right now, so in a vacuum, not a terrible loss. The fact that it comes on the heels of so much futility, well, it's just fuel for the fire. I seriously wish Spencer Hawes would just fake an injury so I'd never have to see another second of him in a Sixers uniform. It's beyond pitiful at this point.
Player of The Game:
Iguodala. I typically wouldn't give it to Iguodala when his defense was average, at best, but his offense was very good and there isn't another viable candidate.
@ Cleveland, Wednesday night. (The Cavs lost by 39 points to the Pistons tonight, and it took a late run to make it that close)
Knicks won. Sixers are solidly in eigth-place with a 1.5-game lead on the Bucks for something like a 1% chance at moving up in the lottery. The need two wins to finish at .500 on the season. Odds?