The Sixers did everything they could in the first and fourth quarters to insure they wouldn't capture that elusive four-game win streak, but when push came to shove, Thad Young decided to shove. You certainly can't commend them for the game they played, but pulling out the road W was huge and as I write, the Sixers are only a half game out of the #6 seed.
Charts (Rotations coming later)
- Lou was the early favorite for POTG. He brought the Sixers back from an early 12-point deficit basically by himself when the starters came out flat. His poor play in the second half cost him the honor, though.
- Thad was also a strong candidate on the back of another uber-efficient scoring night and the key defensive play, but he too fell short.
- I'm giving the player of the game to Jrue, who struggled through the first half but came back strong with a monster second half and finished with an impressive 13 pt (5/12 from the floor, 1/2 from three, 2/2 from the line), 6 rebound, 9 assist, 1 steal, 1 block stat line. More important: he only had one turnover. Most important: Collins put the ball in Jrue's hands for the final five minutes and he not only took care of it, but ran the offense effectively. His layup followed by finding Jodie for a three late in the fourth snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and he also hit two huge free throws to ice the game.
- Over the past two games, Jrue has 19 assists and only 3 turnovers.
- Jodie Meeks is another guy who could've won the POTG. 14 points on 8 shots, the big three mentioned above, and the final pair of freebies to put the nail in the coffin. He also had three steals.
- The one guy who you really can't make a case for is Iguodala. He was terrible on the offensive end tonight. 2/10 from the floor with 3 turnovers (and two other turnovers that were clearly his fault when he passed on open corner threes, resulting in three-second calls). Of course, on the other end Cleveland's wings combined to shoot 3/16 for 6 points, and Iguodala did have 5 boards, 4 assists, a steal and a block.
- Turner looked confident, scoring 10 on 8 shots
- Speights got early minutes and a quick hook for just a terrible display of post defense in the first half. Collins got him back out there in the second half and the effort seemed much improved, even if the results weren't. I'm hoping the Speights experiment will played out more during games than behind closed doors for the rest of the season.
- The pick-and-roll defense was lacking tonight, as it seems to be most nights. In the first half, especially, Sessions was turning the corner on the screen and going right to the hoop. Jrue did a much better job on Sessions in the second half and overall, it was a pretty dominant defensive effort, but the Cavs are pretty close to being the worst offensive team in the league.
- Elton Brand gets a tough guy bonus for dislocating his finger and returning to the game. Hopefully, this won't be something that lingers, though I wouldn't be shocked if he missed some time.
- Ultimately, the Sixers did not play a good basketball game, but they did enough to pull out a win on the road. They're going to need to bounce back with a much better effort against Dallas on Tuesday. The good news is that this time, they aren't bouncing back from a gut-wrenching loss. Just a mundane road win against a bad team.
Player of The Game: Jrue
Team Record: 30-29
Up Next: vs. DAL on Tuesday night.
Game capsule (coming later)