The All Star break couldn't have come at a worse time for the Sixers. Tonight was the icing on the cake of a dominant 5-game home stand. The Sixers are as hot as any team in the East, and don't look now, but they're tied for the 7 spot in the Eastern conference with the Nets. Unfortunately, they're going to have to find a way to stay hot without game action for the next six days.
Tonight's 102-88 win
over the Grizzlies was yet another clinic on pushing the ball, locking down on defense, and refusing to settle for low percentage shots.
Andre Iguodala flirted with a triple and turned in a truly dominating performance, finishing with 29 points, 8 boards and 8 assists. Thad Young continued his inspired play in the starting lineup (12 points on 6/10 from the floor, 8 boards, 3 steals). Andre Miller had a quiet double-double.
One guy, in particular deserves a lot of credit for tonight's game, and that's Samuel Dalembert. Lost amid the winning streak, and downright excellent play by the Sixers has been Dalembert's limited role. His touches on the offensive end have been down, as has his overall production. He looked a bit lost against the Mavs the other night, but tonight he came out and made a statement. His final line, 16 points, 12 boards and 4 blocks, is reminiscent of his play earlier this season and it's a good sign. The big man is desperately needed.
Throughout the game, one thought kept popping into my head, "Thank God the Sixers didn't sign Darko." That guy is just horrible, in every imaginable way. A couple other things made me smile, like Rudy Gay taunting the Sixers bench after a dunk with his team down by about 15 and his man (Iguodala) absolutely lighting him up. Finally, there was a defensive possession that made me chuckle. The Sixers were in a zone, and somehow Lou Williams got caught down on the blocks with Mike Miller. The Griz found the mismatch right away. The next time down the floor, the Sixers played the same D and Lou wound up in exactly the same position. Iguodala saw this from the wing, immediately went down to the block to cover Miller and literally grabbed Lou's jersey and pulled him into his former spot out on the wing, shoring up the defense and correcting the mismatch before Memphis could find it. Say what you want about his body language and the look on his face, Iguodala has become a leader and a true veteran for this team.
Player of The Game:
Andre IguodalaTeam Record: