The Sixers played a pretty ugly game in Charlotte tonight, but did just enough to come out with a pretty average win. They were far from energetic and dominant, but when the game was on the line they came up with the stops and buckets they needed. As they say, it looks like a line drive in the box score. (game capsule).
Here's your rotation chart. I highlighted two runs in the first quarter which really should've put the Bobcats to sleep, and the entire third quarter in which they breathed life into a lifeless opponent with lazy play:
This was really only the second game of the season where the Sixers played down to their opponent and didn't show a ton of energy. I suppose it's some form of growth that they played this poorly and still won the game going away. The notable thing about this game is how different it was from the other dozen or so wins the Sixers have against the cellar dwellers. If the majority of those wins had been like this, I probably wouldn't believe in the Sixers either.
We can list the good all in one succinct paragrph: Jrue was stellar in the first quarter. He picked up right where he left off against the Cavs and torched Kemba Walker. Thad was a man pretty much all night and got to the line 9 times. Lou put the game away with his scoring in the fourth and went to the line nine times. The Voose played his best game of the season, in my opinion, and it was really needed. That about sums it up.
The bad will probably take much longer. Jrue disappeared for most of the second half until he hit a big shot in the fourth. He almost completely stopped attacking and they really needed his scoring in the second half. The defense was pretty effective for the game (a 98 DFR is nothing to sneeze at), but it was extremely lazy and nowhere near the standard we're used to. They reached instead of moving their feet. They fouled instead of cutting off driving lanes. They gave touch fouls instead of making sure guys didn't get the and-one. Iguodala did a good job distributing, but his defense on Maggette wasn't up to par and his back seat on the offensive end was felt in a big way. He wasn't covered by anyone who could stop him from getting into the lane all night, so the only possible conclusion is he stopped himself from attacking the rim. Elton Brand looked dead out there pretty much all night. His jumpers were short, his feet were slow and Collins had not choice but sit him for the most important minutes of the game. The rest of the guys played, and that's pretty much all you can say about them.
Overall, it was an entirely uninspiring effort, but a much-needed win. They'll need to bring a lot more to the floor with them on Wednesday night, but a win is a win is a win, and a road win is even better than that.
Player of The Game: I went with the Voose. He finished with 8 points on 8 shots, but his play in the fourth quarter was the determining factor for me. He scored 6 of his points in the final frame to go along with 4 boards, a block and an assist. Lou was great in the fourth, scoring 10 points including what was probably the decisive three, but he was essentially trading buckets with his man. Yes, Kemba Walker hit some crazy shots, but so did Lou. I also think the team absolutely needed the Voose to step up considering the zero they got from Brand and Lavoy (and Hawe's absence) and he came through. Thad was the leader at one point in the game, Jrue seemed to have a stranglehold on the award in the first quarter, but he tailed off.
Team Record: 20-9
Up Next: @ ORL, Wednesday night
Jrue's Goal: So far, so good. 4 free throws to only 1 turnover tonight.