After a horrible first half marred by continued soft interior play and inflated jump shooting by the Bobcats, the Sixers came out in the second half and put the Bobcats in their place. It was a strange night for Doug Collins, one which I'm sure he won't look back upon fondly, but in the end it's just another demonstrative win over a bad team. (game capsule).
Here's your rotation chart. A couple groups of units worth mentioning tonight, first the group that blew an early nine-point lead in the first half. Then the group that put the game away in after the break:
You could see Doug Collins blood pressure steadily rising throughout the first half as the Sixers kicked the ball around, blew rotations on defense, and generally got pushed around in the paint. Spencer Hawes was the main culprit, as his first half showing was some of the worst basketball you'll ever see. He was pushed around, watched as Bobcats grabbed offensive boards, bobbled passes that should've been dunks and generally lumbered around out there doing nothing at all positive. The offense, and offensive rebounding in particular, carried the team to a two-point lead at the half. I can only imagine what Collins said to them in the locker room.
Whatever the message, one guy didn't get it. Evan Turner committed a questionable turnover early in the third. It appeared as though Gerald Henderson kicked an entry pass Turner threw, no whistle came, the Bobcats got the ball and streaked down the floor for an easy layup. Meanwhile, Turner stood there and complained to the refs for a call. Collins pulled Turner from the game at the next stoppage and planted him on the bench for the remainder of the third. The stick, my friends, has apparently returned.
On the floor, the move seemed to have the desired effect. Spencer Hawes played much better in the second half. He was still as soft as the day is long, but at least he was hustling. Lou, Jrue, Brand and Thad were really the stars of the game. The quartet combined to shoot 34/50 and score 74 of the team's 105 points. Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner were terrible from the floor, and in most other ways as well. Iguodala made some seriously questionable decisions, though he only finished with two turnovers. Lou was uncharacteristically loose with the ball as well, coughing it up three times.
I'm not sure what Collins said to the team at the half, nor what he said to Turner when he was yanked from the game, but I'm glad Turner was back out there to start the fourth. They're committed to him in the starting lineup and if you're going to do that, I guess you have to coddle him a little bit. He can't play completely looking over his shoulder, we've seen the results of that. This is two bad games in a row for the kid, he needs to pick it up because they're going to need him for the next two, and beyond. I definitely disagree with Collins giving Meeks the ace of spades tonight, though. He didn't key the run in the second half, if anything it was Iguodala and Jrue on the defensive end, with Lou, Jrue and Thad carrying the scoring load. Meeks brought some energy, but no more than Thad.
Pretty disappointing game from the Voose, in what is becoming an alarming trend. I suppose you could call it the rookie wall, hopefully he gets over it and this isn't a result of people realizing what to take away from him on the offensive end, and how to attack on defense.
A twenty-five point win is never a bad things, but there were some discouraging trends which continued. The Bobcats went to the line 19 more times than the Sixers. The Sixers actually took very good care of the ball overall (10 turnovers), but they only forced Charlotte into 8. The defense was fine for the Sixers, about an average defensive performance based on DFR, but Charlotte was a little better than their season average. The huge boost to the Sixers offense was their dominant work on the offensive glass.
Player of The Game: Jrue. He followed up his 30/5/5 game with a more efficient 20/4/6 and the big trend over these last two games is where his attempts are coming. He's not only getting into the lane, but he's getting to the rim and finishing. A stark departure from his love affair with the long two early in the year. He even got to the line four times tonight (again, a center with a pulse and a pair of hands adds 2 or 3 more assists to his total in this game.)
Team Record: 26-20
Up Next: vs. NYK, Wednesday on ESPN
Jrue's Goal: Pass. 4 FTA, 1 TO (5-13-2 on since inception)