I do have a little bit to say about tonight's pounding at the hands of the New Jersey Nets. It's not going to be about why they lost, I think that's pretty clear. Instead, it's going to be about how the team, and certain people in particular, responded to the situation.
Let me start by congratulating everyone who watched this game. The Sixers have never been swept by the New Jersey Nets in a season, so we all got to witness history. Yay. Now, for the game:
- Tony DiLeo - I give him some credit for trying to mix up the rotations when things weren't going well early. They finally tried Rush at the three, which turned out to be a disaster. Iguodala spent some time at the four, which didn't work either. Willie saw some time at the three, which was comical. Point being, he tried to mix it up and he tried to get Miller and Iguodala a little more rest. I think he should've pulled the plug on this game earlier to save Iguodala and Miller, but he apparently didn't realize his team had already quit until midway through the fourth quarter.
- Theo - This guy is a true professional. Even with the rest of his team, a team full of guys who are a decade younger than him, dragging ass all around him, he was out there hustling, trying to do everything in his power to bring the Sixers back. I like have a veteran guy setting that kind of example.
- Speights - I'm not quite sure how you go about earning a -28 in only 15 minutes of work, but I'm not going to crucify the kid for it. More than anything, I think this shows why Speights was an excellent choice for this team, whereas had a team taken him earlier in the draft he may be considered a bust. Remove any sense of urgency, put him on a bad team and the worst of Marreese Speights would be on full display. Luckily, the Sixers play nothing but important games from here on out, and Speights shouldn't have many more opportunities to play garbage time minutes. If this situation does arise again, I'd rather keep him on the bench than put him out there with that end-of-game unit. It can only lead to bad things.
- Willie Green - 32 minutes on the floor, 11 shots, 1 assist, 0 rebounds, 0 steals, 0 blocks. You're just a nothing, aren't you?
- Lou Williams - Check out what I had to say about Speights above. When the game disintegrates into a series of heaves, leaving Lou in there does more harm than good, to both him and the team.
- Sam Dalembert - I'm not sure if it's sad, funny, ironic or all of the above that he was in there late in the fourth quarter with the Sixers down by 25+. This guy is our staring center and the only way he sees any time in the fourth quarter is when it doesn't matter if he fouls out. I thought Sammy gave this team a chance to come back in the 3rd quarter when he abused Brook Lopez and the rest of the Nets in the lane for about 6 minutes. The Nets went on an 0/9 stretch from the floor, but the Sixers just couldn't get anything done on the other end.
- The Andres - Let's just be thankful that they don't have back-to-back games in the playoffs.
- Kareem Rush - It's hard to stomach a lack of hustle for a guy who's unconscious from three, but when a guy can't hit a wide-open three to save his life and he loafs after the ball...well, there's a reason DiLeo buried him at the end of the bench.
- Reggie Evans - I liked the hustle he showed in the first quarter. Not really sure why DiLeo went away from him, but it didn't make a difference. The team ran 4 plays through him in his 19 minutes of work, still too many.
- Rebounding - Believe it or not, the Sixers actually did a good job on the defensive glass tonight. They grabbed 31 of 42 possible defensive boards, 73.8%. Go figure.
As usual, I'm going to look at this game as a blip on the radar. Unfortunately, the Sixers rarely lose one game, then bounce back. In fact, it's only happened 7 times this season that one loss was followed immediately by a win. 10 times, the loss has turned into 2 losses in a row, at least.The Sixers cannot afford that to happen at this point of the season.
Player of The Game: Reggie Evans. 11 rebounds in 19 minutes of work. Plus, he only had a -1 plus/minus on the night, which was best on the team.
Team Record: 40-36
Up Next: @ Charlotte, on Tuesday night.