It appears as though Doug Collins is as tired of slow starts as we are. Tonight, he decided to nip the problem in the bud. After only 1:44 of sloppy basketball, Collins lifted Jrue Holiday (who had already turned the ball over twice) for Lou Williams. The Sixers went on to lead the game by 10 after the first quarter and put the catastrophic Washington
Here's your rotation chart. Check out what the starters did to start the third, and then what the bench did to start the fourth. The latter is probably more important, because it necessitated the return of Brand, which would've been good to avoid:
This game was another case of the Sixers just being way too much for an inferior team to handle. They're too quick, too tenacious, too resilient, too aggressive and they just never stop coming after you. John Wall threw in the towel pretty early and looked generally disinterested. The main thought I had about the Wizards looking back at the game is that they really enjoy settling for bad shots, and I mean really bad shots. JaVale McGee 20-footers bad.
Jrue had the dubious honor of being benched in the first, playing a terrible game overall, yet still providing the play of the night. It was what you might call an angry dunk. Jrue grabbed a defensive board and started to move the ball up the court, he looked up and saw no Wizards even looking in his direction, so he kicked into another gear, went coast to coast and threw down a helacious lefty dunk on Jan Veseley's head. Pretty play, but it doesn't even come close to making up for the overall game he played. Jrue was the opposite of cool, calm and collected, whatever that is. He needs to be better, much better than that.
The good thing about this Sixers' team, though, is that they can weather an off night from one or two guys, because they have six or seven other guys capable of picking up the slack. Tonight, it was Lou and Jodie who did most of the damage, and it was neck-and-neck between the two for player of the game. Spencer Hawes also returned to the lineup with an impressive double-double in only 19 minutes of work. Evan Turner hit his first two threes of the season and scored 12 on 7 shots. Brand looked better if still significantly less than explosive.
There were two things I hated to see: Jrue getting benched, and the bench-warmers letting the Wizards show signs of life early in the fourth, but it's hard to complain about a 31-point win, no matter the level of competition.
Great win, now do it again, guys.
Player of The Game: Jodie Meeks. It was close, but how can you deny a guy who shoots 10/11 for 26 points? Actually, the scoring was great, but I gave the nod to Jodie over Lou because he really turned things around on the defensive end. He crowded Nick Young, made things tough for him after a hot start and made him a non-factor. Also if you watch Doug Collins' post-game press conference, Jodie went to talk to the coach before the game to talk about what he could do better. I like that.
Team Record: 8-3
Up Next: @ WAS, tomorrow night.
Comment of the Game Thread: "Sweet 3 by Jodie and dozens of people here are on their feet cheering...." - das411 (commenting live from the WFC).
We've got another later tonight in Washington, and we also just finished the first 11 games of the year, so check back around noon for a quick look at the next 11, then the Game Thread/Preview will land around 5pm.