This one was not pretty. From the time I took my seat until the time I left, the Nets dominated this game. Unfortunate for what was a decent preseason run to end on such a low note, but at least the game didn't count. A few notes and observations after the jump.
Bullets tonight, folks:
- For some reason I find it comforting when Andre Iguodala is clearly the best player on the floor for either team. 7 points, 7 boards, 5 assists, 0 turnovers in only 16 minutes of action. He's also really taking on the role of team leader as well, more on that below.
- It looked to me like Eddie Jordan made a point out of running offense through Elton Brand tonight. The results weren't quite pretty. Brand's touch was off on jumpers, he got at least two or three shots blocked. He just looked tentative and earthbound. At some point, his play got to him and you could sort of see him make a decision that he wasn't going to be denied anymore. He grabbed an offensive board and threw it down with two hands. Dropped his head and bulled over Lopez. Then manhandled Yi and hit a jumper from the baseline. Maybe he's still getting his legs under him. Maybe the plays toward the end of his run were more indicative of what we're going to see in the regular season. I don't know. I'm not feeling very comfortable right now. Brand did have 8 boards, 5 offensive, in only 23 minutes of work, but honestly, his defense on Yi wasn't what I'd call stellar.
- Eddie Jordan blew a gasket in the fourth quarter when Jrue Holiday threw a lazy pass that resulted in a breakaway dunk for Terrence Williams. It was another example of Jrue under-estimating the athleticism of NBA players. Jordan called the timeout and glared Jrue all the way back to the bench while he stood about 30 feet out on the court. Iguodala and Thad both grabbed Jrue and took him to the end of the bench where they seemed to console him while Jordan continued to stew out on the floor. It was really an interesting interaction. I'm not sure what it says. To be honest with you, Jrue wasn't the only guy who made a sloppy pass tonight. In fact, that was probably about the fifth or sixth lazy pass that wound up going the other way for an easy two. I'm sure this has been a point of contention for Eddie with the rook, and this was probably the tipping point for the coach on a bad night of basketball. It was good that Jrue's teammates were there encouraging him, it was probably good that Jordan addressed the problem immediately with the timeout and lifting Jrue from the game. It was even better that he got Jrue back onto the floor a couple minutes later. Much like with Speights last season, I think using minutes to motivate is a very good thing, and teaching young guys is really what the first year is about for the most part.
- Earlier in the second half, Iguodala was on the bench when a Sixer was fouled and went to the line. He yelled down the floor for Jrue to come over and talk to him, then he spent a minute or two pointing something out to the kid. Right there in the middle of the game. On a team devoid of veterans in the backcourt, it's going to be important for Iguodala to take the lead in guiding the kid. Good to seem him accepting that role.
- Jordan does something odd on free throws, and I can't say I like it very much. He has two guys, usually the two guards, or a guard and Thad, go to the opposite end of the floor and fan out on either wing on the baseline. This obviously draws two defenders down there with them. I can sort of get the logic, this leaves the shooter and two guys from the opposing team to go against three Sixers for the rebound, but at least four or five times now I've seen long rebounds gobbled up by the shooter. Something to keep an eye on, as I'm fairly certain this is costing the Sixers up to this point.
- Terrence Willliams sure looked like the real deal tonight. 23 points, 5 boards, 8 assists and 4 steals.
- Jrue led the Sixers with 7 dimes in his 22 minutes of work.
- Honestly, Sammy didn't look half bad on the offensive end, and he was a pretty big part of the offense when he was on the floor.