The Sixers hopped on a plane to head straight into a blizzard in Cleveland after last night's home loss to the Kings. What they found when they landed was a complacent Cleveland team who thought they could sleep walk to a win against the Sixers. 48 minutes later, the Sixers have righted the ship with a 92-86 road win
The Sixers got it done by running at every opportunity, playing tough, tough interior defense (the Cavs had 4 points in the paint the entire second half) and an amazing defensive effort on LeBron James. LeBron finished with 21 points, but went most of the second half without even getting a shot off.
Dalembert seemed to take last night's loss harder than anyone, and he played tonight with a chip on his shoulder. His monster final line, 16 points, 19 rebounds (7 offensive), and 3 blocks, was definitely indicative of his play. He was by far the best big on the floor, possibly the best player on the floor for long stretches.
Just in case you missed it, Thad Young was on the bad end of some tough defensive match ups tonight. When Iguodala went to the bench at the end of the second with three fouls, Thad came in and locked down LeBron mano a mano for the rest of the quarter. His length and quick feet gave LeBron fits. In the second half, Thad was on Anderson Varejao, a spaz/hustle player who is almost impossible to keep off the boards. On one occasion, a shot went up and Young immediately found Anderson and sealed him off the hoop. He didn't make the typical mistake of leaving a hustler too early to go for the ball, instead he kept his base solid and kept Varejao away from the glass. The result: a loose-ball foul on Varejao for trying to go over Thad's back. Little things like that, the ability to man-up on one of the best offensive perimeter players in the league AND the ability to give away size to a spaz rebounder and use technique to keep him off the boards are just two reasons why I think Thad has a bright future in this league.
The Sixers have 3 days off before heading to Indy to face an old friend, Jim O'Brien and his over-achieving Pacers (12-12). Check out Arin It Out for our network's Pacers' coverage.Player of The Game:
Samuel DalembertTeam Record:
10-14Keep It Up:
If the season ended today, the Sixers would be the #8 seed in the East. That's especially notable because they started the season with one of the hardest schedules in the conference.