I'm super excited that after a full day of traveling I was able to come home, boot up NBA League Pass (Summer League Edition) and watch two hours of traveling on my laptop. In a game that can only be described as Haywoode Workman's highlight reel, the Sixers came away victorious over the Celts in their second game in Orlando.
A few quick notes from tonight's win:
- Jrue's shot wasn't falling (3/10 from the floor), but again he controlled the game very well and used his dribble to create space and set up teammates on the offensive end. More on the other end of the floor a few bullets down.
- Turner looked better, I think. It was hard to tell because Workman apparently saw a bulls eye on the back of his jersey. One thing really bothered me in the first half. A couple times, Turner received a kick out pass from a big and had an open look at a three. Instead of shooting it, he pump faked, then dribbled into the defender who was closing out and took a contested long two. He absolutely has to take that three when he's open. Good offense is designed to get looks like that, if you don't take them, you're putting the team at a big disadvantage. If you pass them up for contested long twos, you're probably going from maybe a 0.90 point possession (assuming the shooter is a bad three-point shooter) to maybe a 0.7 or worse possession on the contested two. If Turner is unwilling to take that shot, the lane is going to get even more clogged for the Sixers. The good news is I think this was addressed in the locker room. In the second half, Turner pulled the trigger on catch-and-shoot threes, hitting a pair of them.
- Speights had a little bit of pep in his step early on, but he's still not himself physically. He looks earthbound. He did have a nice one-handed alley-oop from Jrue in the second half that I didn't think he had the lift to get to.
- 0 blocked shots for the Sixers, out-rebounded by 6.
- This Celtics squad was pretty pitiful, as was the NJ squad the other night, but beyond the talent level, the Sixers do stand out, and for a very good reason. The perimeter players on the Sixers are defending their asses off. These NBADL PGs don't have a prayer against Jrue, Turner, Meeks and the guys off the bench. Pressuring the ball has clearly been a point of emphasis in practice early on, and it's going to have to be the focal point of the defense when we get to the regular season. Luckily, Doug Collins has the horses to pull it off in Iguodala, Jrue and Turner (who continues to be a very active, if foul-prone, defender on the perimeter.)
My final thought of the night is that I really like Cedric Simmons. He'd be totally tough if he was Argentinian and/or had a mullet.