Good for the Sixers for finally pulling out a close game. Seriously, I'm happy for them. If you want to be honest about things, though, this was a garbage win. They played absolutely miserable defense against a terrible offensive team. They went with the same terrible offense down the stretch and they got bailed out by a superb defensive play by Andre Iguodala, and a rare stroke of luck when Early Boykins clanked a corner three that would've cost them the game. This really isn't something to be celebrated.
- OK, so Iguodala was back at full strength (or close to it) tonight. All of a sudden, Jrue only gets 6 shots in 35 minutes. Is this Iguodala's fault, Lou's fault for dominating the ball, Collins' fault for going completely away from what's worked so well over the past ten games or some combination of the three? That's a serious question. I don't have an answer.
- This game, this type of win, where the Sixers do just enough to overcome what is a decidedly poor overall game and beat a bad team, really doesn't mean anything. It doesn't erase a close lose in a similar circumstance, in fact, it masks the defensive problems the team is having right now, and it sets a bad precedent. There's going to come a game in the near future, like several in the past, where the team is going to waste a tremendous effort by abandoning their offense (and their best players) to flip the coin on whether Lou is going to be hot or cold in the last five minutes of the game. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating it is for me, as a fan, to watch the entire focus of the team change when everything is on the line, imagine how it must feel for Jrue and Brand to a lesser extent. Jrue was turned into a spectator for about 20 of his 35 minutes tonight. Nothing was run through him. He spent most of his time sitting in the corner, waiting to catch a pass. I just don't get it.
- If you look at the numbers above, something should be abundantly clear. The Sixers only did one thing well defensively. They didn't send Milwaukee to the line very much. Unfortunately, sending Milwaukee to the line should've probably been a part of their defensive game plan. In fact, if you look over the past couple games, you'll notice Sixers' opponents aren't getting fouled as much. My theory is that they're playing much softer than they did earlier in the year. Plays that used to be a hard foul to prevent a layup are barely a nominal contest at this point. Worst-case, they're a weak foul for the and-one. The team has lost it's edge on the inside defensively, and that edge was masking a phenomenal lack of talent in that department. Collins needs to reverse course with this squad, or this alarming trend of bad defense is just going to become the norm, if it hasn't already.
- Lou almost got his first player of the game nod tonight. Collins decided to put the ball in his hands incessantly, that's not Lou's fault. He did well in the role, that's pretty much all you can ask of/expect from a guy.
- 10 minutes for Turner is a joke.
- I'm not 100% sure what happened on the floor between Hawes and Turner, but there were definitely words exchanged and a shove sent Turner's way. Then there might have been some discontent in the huddle as well. Collins gave Turner a quick hook after the fracas, so I'm guess he wasn't please Turner passed on the corner three, either. Personally, I don't think it was that great of a look for him, but whatever. The point here, to me, is that I don't want Hawes calling someone out on the floor, ever. Hawes isn't a leader on this team. Hawes is nothing more than a slightly taller warm body than the next warm body on the bench and he's lucky he didn't get a fist in the face from one of his teammates who's got to be sick of his soft play to the point where they'd enjoy loosening a couple of his teeth. That nonsense isn't fire, or toughness, it's a guy who's somehow on the second rung of the totem pole (undeservedly) trying to bully the guy on the first rung.
Team Record: 16-23
Up Next: vs. CHA, Monday afternoon