Fight back against a good team on the road: check. Demolish a bad team on the road: check. Build up a big lead, don't let the other team come back: check. Three minor items on the Sixers to-do list early in the season, all three in the yes column. 103-83 was the final in Phoenix last night (game capsule).
Here's your rotation chart. Note the starters run in the beginning of the third:
Bullets only tonight:
- First, it looks like Jrue is fine, which is the most important takeaway from this game. He banged his knee and got up gimpy in the fourth quarter, but it looks like it's nothing serious. Some people had a problem with him being in a lopsided game at that point, but I think he needs as many reps as possible right now to knock the rust off, so I have no complaint with the decision Collins made there. Jrue started the game horribly, shooting 2/10 from the floor in the first half. He caught fire in the third when the Sixers blew Phoenix's doors off. He finished the third going 3/4 from the floor and 5/5 from the line for 11 points. Good to see, after playing 3 sub-par halves of basketball to start the season. He only turned the ball over twice tonight (one of which really should have been on Brand), but the assists aren't coming. He still doesn't look 100% right out there, not sure if it's nerves, or rust or whatever, but we definitely saw positive signs in the third quarter.
- That had to be the worst game I've ever seen Steve Nash play. He's going to have nightmares about Andre Iguodala in the passing lane tonight.
- This Sixers second unit can be so much fun to watch, especially when Turner is in attack mode. He made several really nice plays and finished a number of drives with pretty floaters in the lane. He's going to be a legitimate third scoring weapon off the bench if he keeps this up. It would be nice if he could get some more contact on those drives, though. He needs to get to the line.
- Second strong game for Spencer Hawes. His usage rate was up (22.8%), thanks in large part to his four turnovers, but he grabbed 37.8% of available defensive boards (11 boards total in 26 minutes)
- Brand's jumper looks as flat as it did in the Eddie Jordan season. We better hope he gets his legs back soon. He did grab 9 boards in only 21 minutes, which is a huge positive.
- I thought the Voose looked pretty good in his first game action. He seemed somewhat spry on the defensive end when he was off the ball, and battled for some boards.
- Thad was 6/10 inside 10 feet and 1/4 from 16-23'. I'm not sure how long they can go allowing him to shoot those long twos. A couple of times tonight, he caught the ball with a clear lane to drive to the hoop, and instead settled for the long jumper. If he must make those shots to make himself a better driver, he should maybe be taking them when he has a defender sagging off him, not when he's got a clear driving lane and no one on him. Overall, his hustle was there, but Warrick abused him on the defensive end, like he always does.
- Jrue is the long two goat of the game. He attempted seven, made only three. That's about five too many attempts, in my book and might go a long way toward explaining his poor shooting overall.
- Thanks to the egg NY just laid in Golden State, the Sixers are now in first place in the Atlantic, tied with NY, TOR and NJ, and two games in the loss column ahead of the Celtics (who got spanked by the Hornets).
- Thanks to the tremendous run early in the third quarter, Collins was able to get extra rest for Brand and Iguodala, which will hopefully pay dividends in the Friday/Saturday back-to-back in Utah and Oakland.
Player of The Game: Andre Iguodala. 15 points on 7 shots, 4 boards, 6 assists, 4 steals and only 1 turnover in 27 minutes of action. Also, Iguodala is now shooting 60% from three on the year.
Team Record: 1-1
Up Next: @ Utah, Friday night