If you had to pick one thing to blame for this loss, you'd have a bunch to choose from: Okur's banked three-pointer; Shawne Williams banked fifty-footer; a series of questionable whistles early in the fourth; allowing Deron Williams to get Jodie Meeks on him for the two biggest possessions of the game; Thad's injury; Hawes and Voose being out; terrible defensive rebounding in the first half; terrible ball security in the first half. Seriously, there are dozens, but one rises above the rest in my mind. (game capsule
My root cause for the loss is Deron Williams. Not in the way you're thinking, though. If you only checked the box score, or maybe just caught the fourth quarter and overtime, you're probably saying to yourself, "The Sixers don't have anyone who can stop Deron Williams." But was that really the case?
As soon as the game was over, I went to Synergy to dissect Williams' game tonight. Here's a breakdown of what happened when he was guarded by different players:
- Covered by Andre Iguodala: 4/6 from the floor, 1/1 from the line, 10 points, 2 assists, 0 turnovers
- Covered by Evan Turner: 1/2 from the floor, 2 points, 1 assist, 2 turnovers
- Covered by Jodie Meeks (this happened three times, twice on switches when AI9 was originally covering him, once on a switch when Turner was covering him): 2/2 from the floor, 5 points, 1 assist (3-pointer), 0 turnovers.
- Covered by Jrue Holiday: 6/18 from the floor, 2/2 from the line, 15 points, 6 assists, 3 turnovers.
- Other: 1 assist came on a long pass for a transition hoop. No one was really guarding him. Meeks let Morrow get behind him on a dead-ball turnover. 1 point came on a technical free throw.
Let's sum this up: With Jrue on him, Williams scored 15 points on 18 shots
(and 2 freebies), with 6 assists and 3 turnovers. With anyone else on him, he scored 19 points on 10 shots
with 5 assists and 2 turnovers.
Collins had an answer for Deron Williams, he was on the floor for the final 17:13 of the game, but he spent the last 9 minutes and change guarding someone else. Instead, Collins decided to put Iguodala on Williams. Williams scored 12 points over that closing stretch, and put the game away for the Nets. Usually, putting Iguodala on the other team's biggest weapon is a great strategy. Not tonight, and I think Collins should've realized that.
Here's your rotation chart:
Beyond that, I don't have a whole lot to say other than the Sixers better cross their fingers that Thad doesn't miss any time with the lower back contusion he suffered in the second half. Offensively, the Sixers did a terrible, terrible job tonight. The turned it over too much in the first half. In the second half, they settled for way too many jumpers, especially when you consider the Nets don't have a single shot blocker. Wipe this one from your memories as quickly as you can. All this loss means is they need to pick up an extra win against a good team at some point down the road, probably when they're healthy.
Player of The Game:
Lou Williams. It was a toss-up between Lou and Jrue. They both hit big shots, neither was super-efficient. Lou gets it because he pulled the team out of scoring funks a couple of times and hit the game that sent it into overtime. Jrue shot terribly in the first half, but finished with a decent line (14 points on 13 shots and 2 freebies, 2 boards, 7 dimes, 3 steals, 2 turnovers and the aforementioned defense on Deron Williams). Lou scored 17 on 15 shots with 6 dimes and a couple of turnovers.
vs. Charlotte, Friday night