It was great to see the Sixers get back to .500 with an easy win over the Thunder tonight. This was a game against an extremely bad team that the Sixers should have won easily, and they did, 110-85
After jumping out to an early 10-point lead, the Thunder came back mostly against the Sixers second team, and it was only a 4-point lead at the half. Mo sent his starters out there to begin the third and they abused OKC 33-18. It was an early night for the regulars, basically the entire fourth quarter was garbage time.
As you can tell from the headline, I don't think much of this Thunder team. I did come away with one clear impression, though. Jeff Green is their best player, probably followed by Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant is a joke. Willie Green was pushing him around all over the court, you breath on him and he falls down. His shot selection was comical and his handle was even worse. Maybe it was an off night for him, but I can say with 100% honesty, I'm glad the Sixers have Thad Young instead of Durant. In fact, as of right now, the Sixers got the best of last year's draft class.
Speaking of Thad, 23 points on 10/15 shooting, not too shabby. Iguodala finally shot the ball well, 7/14 from the floor for 15 points. Brand didn't shoot the ball well, but it doesn't concern me that much. He was getting high percentage shots. They'll start falling. Miller had another excellent game, he only took five shots, but finished with 6 boards, 9 assists, 4 steals and only 1 turnover.
I have to be honest with you guys, I love watching Sixers garbage time with this year's squad. It's basically a race between Rush and Donyell to see who can fire off more threes before the clock runs out. Oh, and Speights doing his best to rip down the backboard with monster dunks. That's what I call entertainment.
Finally, let's get to the star of the night, the Haitian Sensation. Sammy was coming off two of the worst games of his career. Against Toronto and Indiana he totaled 6 points and 6 boards. According to the Sixers' announcers (who we finally got to hear on League Pass), Mo Cheeks said to Sammy, "You owe me two games," before the tip tonight. I guess the big guy took those words to heart. He finished with 13 points, 16 boards, 3 blocks and only 1 turnover in 31 minutes of work. Just an outstanding job by Sammy. I'm going to have to hold off on the "Potential trading parters for Dalembert," post I've been thinking about.
If you want to boil the game down to one stat, here it is. Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand combined for 19 assists and only 2 turnovers. If those three guys are taking care of the ball and sharing it, this team will be fine.
Highlight of the night: For the first time this season, the Sixers passed out of a double and wound up with a wide-open three on the weak side of the floor. They actually did it twice. The first time, Elton hit Thad with a diagonal pass, Than quickly swung the ball to Willie in the corner, he nailed it. The second time, Brand hit Iguodala directly on the weak side, Iggy drained it. That's really the final step in the process of learning to play with Brand. First you figure out how to get him the ball in the post, then you figure out how to space the floor to give him room to work, then you figure out how to move the ball and find an open shot when the double comes. Great signs all around.
It's always tough to win a back-to-back, and I've always thought playing the first half on the road, then coming home for the ass end pretty much negates any homecourt advantage a team has. This was an impressive three-game stretch for the Sixers.Player of The Game:
5-5 (.500 at last)Up Next:
@ Minny on Wednesday.