About midway through the third quarter of the Sixers 126-116 loss the Suns you could see they were out of gas. I noticed it when a couple of rebounds bounced in the lane a couple times and no Sixers made a move to grab them. They just didn't have anything left in the tank. It was a valiant effort, but you aren't going to beat the Suns in Phoenix if you don't bring 48 minutes of energy.
It sure looked to me like Andre Iguodala left everything he had on the court at Staples Center. He only managed to get 10 shots up and only went to the line twice, making one.
If you need a more concrete reason for the loss than just being tired, I'll point you to free throws (18/27) and defensive rebounding (the Sixers only had 22 defensive rebounds, Phoenix grabbed 15 offensive boards. I'm no math wizard, but that's not a good percentage.)
Three things greatly disappointed me in this game:
- Thad's second-half disappearance. The Suns had no answer for Thad. He was on fire. The team needed consistent hoops. He had fresh legs. Why not run the offense through him?
- Reggie was the first big off the bench. Speights had a huge game against Phoenix in Philly. I thought DiLeo would go with his fresh legs to carry the scoring for the second unit. No such luck
- Speights' horrid defensive play when he finally did get in there.
This was really a poor team effort. Sammy started out playing tough D on Shaq, but faded in the second half. Willie shot the ball well, but wound up getting lost on defense way too many times, and giving up easy hoops on gross mismatches.
It's probably best to count yourself as lucky after this one. Both Miami and Detroit lost tonight, so the standings remain static. Lick your wounds, get some sleep and come ready to play on Friday night. There can be no excuses in Oakland, that game absolutely has to be a win.
Player of The Game: Donyell, again. He was +12 and fueled a furious 11-0 run to erase a 10-point deficit in the second quarter.
Team Record: 34-32
Up Next: GSW on Friday night.