Believe it or not, I thoroughly enjoyed that game. The Sixers didn't mail this one in, the guys on the floor played hard. There was some excitement in the form of a half dozen Iguodala dunks and Elton Brand's excellent play on the blocks. It was a disappointment to see Jrue saddled with foul problems, but overall, a fun game to watch. If a win mattered, it would've maddened me, but all I was really looking for was some entertainment out of the night, and the teams delivered.
Here are a few thoughts I had while watching the game, and pregame:
- Thad Young was on the court working hard on catch-and-shoot situations, mostly. That's the good news. The bad news is that he was working with Randy Ayers, the guy who screwed up his jumper. He had a splint on his right thumb.
- Iguodala was the second guy out on the floor prior to the layup line. He and Aaron McKie worked on catch-and-shoot drills from all over the floor for about 15 minutes.
- No other Sixer spent even a second on the floor until the mandatory layup lines. Not one player. I've been to a ton of games in the past decade or so, I always go early, and this was never the case in the past. Multiple players were on the floor prior to every game working on different aspects of their game. Even if they were just fooling around and taking shots, they were out there. Not tonight. Only Thad and Iguodala. Keep in mind the Sixers were off Saturday, Sunday and Monday. No extra work needed, apparently.
- Even with his foot injury, Iguodala is simply a cut above just about everyone else on the floor athletically.
- When I look at the pieces OKC has, I don't see a solid defensive team. Actually, I don't see as much defensive talent as the Sixers have. Just goes to show you what a difference a coach and a system can make.
- Speaking of defense, I spent the fourth quarter trying to figure out what the Sixers were taking away from OKC. I mean, they had to be focusing on something, right? Don't let Durant get clean looks? Get the ball out of Durant's hands. Limit second chance opportunities. I'm still trying to figure it out. It sure looked to me like OKC did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted all night long.
- I had to flip a coin to decide who was the worst player to set foot on the court tonight. The candidates were Willie Green (who does nothing but dribble the air out of the ball and jack up 20-footers), Jodie Meeks (who seems to be another "shooter" who can't shoot), or Jason Smith, who was stuffed by the rim on a dunk, and literally threw a layup over the backboard. The latter had to be the worst layup attempt I've ever seen in my life. I'm not even exaggerating, the ball went right over the backboard without touching anything, he was maybe 36 inches away from the rim when he let the ball go. I had to go with Smith.
- I'll get to the rotation chart in the next couple of days, but just trust me when I tell you they were completely wacky tonight. Elton Brand played something like 22 of 24 minutes in the first half, I believe he played the first 22 minutes without taking a single rest. He finished the game with 40 minutes played, on the first night of a back-to-back. What are the odds he has an off game tomorrow night?
That's all I've got. Time for bed.