It's been quite some time since I attended a Sixers blowout win. Today, the boys brought one home in emphatic, nearly historic fashion against a hapless New Orleans team led by a super star who is clearly going to be begging for a trade sooner rather than later.
- First of all, I had a great time at the game. Good to see Derek. Sorry to Tom Moore, I tried to get over to press row, but didn't see you at half time. It was actually a decent crowd, attendance was listed at almost 14K, with a lot of families bringing their kids out for the afternoon game. The Sixers should really play more of these weekend noon games (I believe they're 2-0 in noon games, with the other win coming in New York), I think that's probably got something to do with coaching and also with the character of the guys on the team.
- Wrap your mind around this. Chris Paul had 3 assists in 32 minutes. The rest of the Hornets roster had 1 assist in 208 minutes. Thad Young and Jrue Holiday each had as many assists as the entire Hornets team. Iguodala and Lou both handed out more assists than New Orleans.
- I cannot begin to tell you how refreshing it was to watch Willie Green miss bad shots for another team. If you watch the replay, you can probably hear me yelling, "Keep shooting, Willie!" every time he throws up a brick.
- Statistically speaking, this is probably the best defensive game you'll ever see from the Sixers. A DFR of 76.80 is ridiculous. If you asked me how they did it, I'd probably tell you they were lucky early, then opportunistic and merciless. Early on, I think New Orleans was missing some decent looks, as were the Sixers. The difference is the Sixers righted the ship by going to the hole, while New Orleans continued to settle for jumpers. About mid-way through the first quarter, I thought the Sixers really ratcheted up their defensive effort, and they kept the pressure on until there were about 5 minutes left in the game. They also did a very good job on the defensive glass, considering how many missed shots there were. Brand and Iguodala led the way on the glass, and pretty much every other way as well.
- He's not your player of the game, but I have to mention Elton Brand. Over the last two games, Brand has grabbed 27 rebounds in 70 minutes and really provided the team with a great interior presence on both ends of the floor.
- Evan Turner looked comfortable, at times, within the offense today. It probably had something to do with a couple decent runs, and hitting a couple of shots. He was the first guy off the bench for Collins, which I really like. I'm not so crazy about him playing small forward, but I do think putting him out there with Meeks is a good idea in this extended "getting the kid comfortable" stage.
- Since 1986, only one other team has had less than five assists in game. Elton Brand was involved in that one as well, on the losing side. December 26, 1999. The Bulls only had 3 assists in a big loss to the Nets.
- To put this crazy season into perspective, the Sixers have now outscored their opponents by 7 points and they're 7 games under .500. Beyond the differential, they've lost three games in a way that defied logic (both Wizards games, the offensive implosion against the Hawks), one was lost on a last-second shot (the Celtics) and another turned on a Josh Smith three-pointer (Smith was 0/7 from three last season). This team is legitimately a handful of plays away from being 13-10, and they didn't even start playing really good basketball until the second Miami game.
Player of The Game: Iguodala. 16 points on 7 shots, 10 boards, 5 dimes, 1 steal and honestly, he was clearly the best player on the floor today. New Orleans didn't have any who could guard Iguodala, and he was manhandling everyone on the defensive end.
Team Record: 8-15
Up Next: @ New Jersey on Tuesday